Memphis, Egypt 03:35 Club Mekon 03:27 Only Darkness Has The Power 03:27 Ring O'Roses 04:05 Learning To Live On Our Own 04:34 Cocaine Lyl 02:49 Empire Of The Senseless 04:33 Someone 02:43 Amnesia 04:28 I Am Crazy 03:27 Heaven And Back 03:15 Blow Your Tuneless Trumpet 03:56 Echo 04:31 When Darkness Falls 03:53
"Here's to a band that deals with the facts of life in their 10 short ugly years," carolled The Mekons on 1987's HONKY TONKIN', clocking a decade beginning with the DIY-punk classics "Never Been In A Riot" and "Where Were You" and ending with the third album that showed their mutation into a ragged, renegade country-roots collective who used the emotional and confessional kernel of country music to write eloquent songs of alienation, dispossession and drinking in a Thatcherite society much like The Pogues use Irish folk. THE MEKONS ROCK 'N' ROLL is a typically deceptive title; guitars once again spit and crackle with near-punk aggression, as do Susie Honeyman's violin and Messrs Langford, Greenhalgh and Timms's bucolic voices. But songs like "I Am Crazy," "Amnesia" and "Memphis Egypt" are still country-orientated - only more frayed and frustrated - while beautiful early ballads like "Cocaine Lil" and "Learning To Live On Your Own" sting harder still.
- Martin Aston
Q, Issue #38 (November 1989)