I love it so much, here’s a song-by-song review of the Mekons/Fulks drunken life on a stormswept Scottish island album and DAMMIT I CHALLENGE OTHER BANDS TO DO IT.
- Opens with a doleful organ-driven song that Rico Bell sings. Called, appropriately enough, “A Fearful Moment”. The worst possible way to open an album, except for the moments when all the other Mekons start singing in the background and Susie Honeyperson starts filling in the back. And it starts to feel like a bar singalong. Except it’s really dark. And the violin from So I kind of like it.
- Robbie jumps up and makes the next song a bit of his own and and a bit of crazy.
- I do confess that “an Incident off St. Kitts” sounds like a lot of Jon Langford’s other work. HOWEVER; The backing of the people on hand makes it so much more than an echo. THANK GOD FOR THE BANJO.
- Of course, after the coarse welsh crap of Langford, we have a song sung by the loverly Sally Timms. Her voice has always been the counterpoint to the more aggressive sides of the Mekons. And she has always been the more introspective side; while, from what I understand, is also one of the most insistent on being professional during tours.
- Langford gets silly again, but Suzie does some amazing fiddle, considering how much the environment had to be fucking with her instrument.
- One of my favorite songs “Beaten And Broken”, and Fulks did the best version ever, with the exception of Bonnie Prince Billy’s version that showed up in the stellar “Revenge Of The Mekons’ moving pictures. Which, of course, all you lovely people should have seen by now..There re some who distrust Fulks change of the lyrics. Not sure on my own damn self; back in the eighties, dying in bed seemed like a statement; nowadays, it kind of seems more like a prophecy, yang?
- Another great song by Rico singing. “Getting On With It”
- Oh gosh, Sally shows up. “I Am Come Home” Which makes me feel weird. Sally is living in Chicago, and much removed from her old places. And I am not so much; I grew up near Madison, and went to college at UW-Platteville, then bounced back to UW-Milwaukee. So, while I have been not so much traveled in my younger life, we have traveled as many cool places as we can find in the country. I love the state I grew up in, and am happy to be living here and working to make it better. I really appreciate the affectionate efforts by others to be supportive. But you know, when I go and travel and have great times somewhere else; There is nothing I SAID NOTHING LIKE turning into our driveway and knowing that we are HOME. and then there are the Mekon Dirge Vocals in the background. I hope, next time my heart decides to fade on me, that these are the people singing me to me to my rest….
- Dammit, then Langford decides that we have to pull another damn shanty. Which is appropriate, maybe…Now a fish must walk on land. OK, asshole. The echo of Robbie at the end is perfectly drunken and appropropriate…
- “Are we not men?” and then the drunken aspect make up for a terrible song . A very terrible and realistic song. Are we not men?
- Go from my window. Lovely singing by the lovely Sally Timms, who has always tempered the horrible aspects of the other sides of the Mekons. Of course, she sings about the worstest things.
I love this album, because it is not only an album from the most perfect artistic musical group in the post-seventies horribleness, but that it is lovely in a folk-music pervertedness. The band loves to work within and around and within the music that they have heard. And then they drink and play some more music.
And drink some more, and then play more music. And maybe drink some whiskey or some bourbon.