Deserted

Mekons

Bloodshot Records, 2019

http://www.bloodshotrecords.com/artist/mekons

REVIEW BY: Tom Haugen

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED: 04/15/2019

Mekons is one of the longest running British punk bands who have dabbled in countless influences since their inception in 1977. They are about as likely to produce folk, country, cabaret, reggae or world music just as they are driving, guitar-fueled punk rock. And even though these days, the collective has shaped their sound into a more art fueled entity, there's no doubt Mekons is full of plenty of fiery spirit and raw energy.my_heart_sings_the_harmony_web_ad_alt_250

“Lawrence Of California” gets off to cryptic start with an ambient distorted opening that then bursts into gang vocals and a feisty atmosphere of bright horns, crashing percussion and uproarious rock. “Hara 1883” follows and moves into calmer, darker areas with moody keys and a firm post-punk influence.

Though there are just nine tunes present, each one is a gem and Mekons covers much territory. “Into The Sun/The Galaxy Explodes” alone brings in orchestral ideas and prog rock ideas as female vocals populate the busy tune, and “How Many Stars?” uses saxophones, an intimate setting, and Tom Greenhalgh's unassuming vocals to punctuate the fragility.

The back half of the record offers the heavily stringed “In The Desert,” which sounds like the musical version of a mirage – hazy, desolate, and with dreamy vocals – and the following song is actually called “Mirage,” recruiting charged guitars, forceful vocals, and a buzzing template that's more on par with their punk rock beginnings.

Deep tracks like “Weimer Vending Machine/Priest?” illustrate even more variety with dreamy classic rock meets experimental punk, while “Andromeda” is a purely breezy, swing country fun. “After The Rain” closes out the affair with elegant folk sounds, the kind that aging punks play that's gritty, sprawling and animated.

Perhaps a bit less political then we might expect from Mekons, Deserted is nothing if not adventurous, and full of hallucinatory landscapes, and instrumentation that shifts from sparse to hectic. It's daring, bold, and sometime mysterious; in short, it's everything we love about Mekons that twangs, roars, and simmers with subtle rage.

Rating: A

User Rating: Not Yet Rated


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