MEKONS, THE: Honky Tonkin’: CD

Which brings us to the Mekons, a musically schizophrenic group who have earned one of the most devout followings of the post punk era. Honky Tonkin’, originally released in 1987 and re-issued here for the second time on a third label, helped cement the band’s reputation as one of the most creative bands of their day. This is, again, an album informed by American country as opposed to the simple aping of a musical style. Tracks like “I Can’t Find My Money” sound like outtakes from the Clash’s Sandanista and even the closest thing to a Johnny Cash track, “Hole in the Ground,” retains that peculiar English sound that prohibits it from getting into the dusty romanticism of classic Sun b-sides. That said, this is still one of the band’s best efforts and was their last stab at country rock, cowpunk, or whatever you want to call it (see their 1985 release Fear & Whiskey for more faithful interpretations).

 –eric (Quarterstick)