I Love Mekons
Millionaire 04:37 Wicked Midnite 03:51 I Don't Know 04:20 Dear Sausage 03:48 All I Want 03:49 Special 02:30 St. Valentine's Day 04:59 I Love Apple 03:26 Love letter 04:18 Honeymoon In Hell 05:34 Too Personal 05:66 Point Of No Return 03:00
Bass Sarah "Casanova" Corina
Drums John "Lovely" Langley
Paul "Toyboy" Tippler
Guitar Jon "Don Juan" Langford
Tom "Cat" Greenhalgh
Vocals Sally "Bunny" Timms
Jon "Don Juan" Langford
Tom "Cat" Greenhalgh
Violin Susie "Honeybaby" Honeyman
Background Vocals Eric "Rico" Bellis
Melodeon John "Lovely Dubbly" Gill
- Paul Davies
Q, Issue #87 (December 1993)
Recorded in the summer of 1992 and released in October, I (heart) Mekons finds the band returning to what they do best. Musically the Mekons have returned to cowpunk, albeit a higher tech version of what they were doing in 1985, blending fiddles and electric guitars to create a mix more fascinating than anything coming out of Nashville these days. Lyrically, the songs have departed from anti-music industry/political musings for another stab at the Mekons' greatest theme - the fucked-up things we do to each other in the name of love. Constant touring has really tightened up the group's instrumental prowess, and lead chanteuse Sally Timm's vocals keep getting more and more perfect. If Hank Williams had been born 30 years later, he wouldn't sound like Garth Brooks today. He'd be playing guitar with the Mekons. (Pat Anders)
Unfashionable survivors of England's safety-pin-and-guitars era, the Mekons have turned contrariness into a career despite 15 years fraught with bad timing, bungled record deals and countless personnel changes. When punk was at its apex, they authored "Never Been in a Riot" in response to the Clash's "White Riot." Long before the Garth Age, the Mekons were drenching their mid-'80s albums in fiddles and twisted honky-tonk. Now in this season of AIDS and virtual sex comes "I Love Mekons," a barbed-wire valentine all the more poignant for the way it confronts and finally rises above its jadedness. "Look into my eyes/All the lovely things will fall together this time," promises Jon Langford on "Wicked Midnite." As he finishes the line, another voice squeals in delight - or is that terror?
The 3 a.m. voices of the band's three singers - Sally Timms' stiletto-edged alto, Tom Greenhalgh's bravely uncertain tenor, Langford's bleary howl - are framed by damaged guitar riffs, the drone of Susie Honeyman's violin and a thrift-shop array of hip-hop loops, dub rhythms and assaultive polkas. The Mekons have become first-rate melodists, but they're not much for formula. For every conventionally structured tune like "Millionaire," there's one like "Too Personal," in which the wordless, melancholy chorus is heard at the outset and then not again until the "Waterloo Sunset"-like fade.
"I Love Mekons" is the work of skeptics who refuse to cave in to cynicism. They see the "narrow snake . . . solid and defined" in the grass ("Dear Sausage") and yet plead with a lover to "lead me into temptation" on the album's finale. Like the band itself, the singer in "Point of No Return" has crawled from the wreckage enough times to know the risk of trying again. It's that knowledge that gives "I Love Mekons" its resonance.