display | more...

25 years into their existence, the Mekons still have one of the most devoted cults in the world of punk rock.

Perhaps their secret to survival is in their lineup (as Christgau put it best, "the Mekons brand name had concealed some 20 enemies of the state as of 1985") or in the constant reinventions of their sound; one way or the other, the Mekons have managed to mature rather than to grow old.

The Mekons saga began in Leeds University -- that's right, the same Leeds that spawned the Gang of Four. Drawing their name from a sci-fi comic series, the Mekons relocated to Edinburgh to work for Fast Product Records. Although their geographical origin was the only point of comparison between the two Leeds bands for the Mekons' first two singles (musically improficient but energetic numbers called "Never Been in a Riot" and "Where Were You"), by the time of their first record ("The Quality Of Mercy Is Not Strnen") they had become a more listenable post-punk band along the lines of the Gang.

Their first few releases failed to cause a great stir. They continued to put out rather hard-to-find albums for a growing audience, but after their 1983 breakup it looked like the Mekons were through.

Then began the second wave of the Mekons. In 1985, the reunited group had discovered country music. "Fear and Whiskey", their jarring 1985 release, reached a new audience and marked the beginnings of the modern Mekons cult. The band seemed to learn from the experience and, by their next album, moved on to other styles. The lineup began to take form more solidly; albums were released frequently and with decent distribution; tours were widespread and numerous; new contributors, such as vocalist Sally Timms and violinist Susie Honeyman, joined Jon Langford and Tom Greenhalgh in the ranks of permanent members.

The Mekons are currently residing in Chicago and releasing albums on Quarterstick Records. Although even their record label seems understandably hesitant to state their lineup, it probably consists of:

Incomplete discography:
  • The Quality Of Mercy Is Not Strnen (Virgin 1979)
  • Devil Rats And Piggies A Special Message From Godzilla (Red Rhino 1980)
  • It Falleth Like The Gentle Rain From Heaven - the Mekons Story (CNT 1982)
  • Fear and Whiskey (Sin 1985)
  • The Edge Of The World (Sin 1986)
  • Honky Tonkin' (Sin 1987)
  • The Mekons In New York (ROIR 1987)
  • So Good It Hurts (Sin 1988)
  • Original Sin (Rough Trade 1989)
  • The Mekons Rock 'N' Roll (Blast First 1989)
  • The Curse Of The Mekons (Blast First 1991)
  • I Love Mekons (Quarterstick/Touch and Go 1993)
  • Retreat From Memphis (Quarterstick 1994)
  • Pussy, King Of The Pirates (Scout 1996)
  • ME (Quarterstick 1998)
  • I Have Been To Heaven And Back : Hen's Teeth and other lost fragments of unpopular culture Vol. 1 (Quarterstick 1999)
  • Where Were You? : Hen's Teeth and other lost fragments of unpopular culture Vol. 2 (Quarterstick 1999)
  • Journey to the End of the Night (Quarterstick 2000)

Log in or register to write something here or to contact authors.