Tuesday, June 27, 2006

The Mekons - Fear and Whiskey (Sin, 1985)

The Mekons were one of the original guttersnipe punk rock bands to emerge from the Sex Pistols wake as British punk exploded in the mid-70's. Always more then a prototypical punk one-trick pony, the band has experimented with many genres during its 30 year history, few with as much success as their original melding of rock and country music, Fear and Whiskey. Sounding like the bastard child of an unholy union of The Buzzcocks and Johnny Cash, this album has become a cornerstone in what would become alt-country. Some of the band's finest songs are here, like the weep-into-your-bottle tale of "Flitcraft" and the bouncing punk-pop of "Hard to Be Human." The most successful aspect of the music comes from the band never trying to pretend that they are a true country music outfit, but respectfully borrowing from the rootsy genre while all the while retaining their DIY punk roots.

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