The Mekons | Ancient & Modern

Bloodshot (2011)
By JONATHAN DONALDSON  |  September 20, 2011
3.0 3.0 Stars


Considering that the Mekons have made almost 20 albums and have been around since CHiPS debuted on television (1977), they are keeping it pretty fresh. In fact, Jon Langford and company have made an art out of making their spirited, generously drunk, gothic-country, and early folk seem as naïve and unplanned as a band just spreading their wings. Ancient & Modern is no exception. Whereas opener "Warm Summer Sun" will have fans set for pedal-steel guitars and winsome reverie, it's a delight elsewhere on the CD to find a rocking chair on a haunted porch, doleful tales of corpses, and just enough rickety melody to keep you from getting creeped out. Langford and co-vocalist Sally Timms lead listeners through tales of country, God, and man with a weather-beaten grace that would make Nick Cave fans squeal. "I fall asleep when I should pray," Langford confesses mid-album. Perhaps it is in those dreams that these songs come.
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