| BS 705

Ancient & Modern

Sonic adventurers, punk rock fundamentalists, exuberant luddites, willing outcasts.

Full Description

RELEASED ON THE MEKONS OWN REVIVED SIN RECORDS LABEL, home of their classic albums "Fear and Whiskey" and "The Edge of the World"

On Ancient & Modern the Mekons bring you an “album” just like albums used to be; cardboard things filled with cheeky, chunky 78rpm shellac.  Just take a look at the cover of Ancient & Modern and you’ll know what we’re talking about! Let the band take you for a walk down memory lane, to the world as it was just before the First World War ... to the Edwardian Era, to the Naughty Naughties a hundred years ago, a cozy nostalgic world: cricket on the village green, punting down the river in a striped blazer and boater, off with the hounds, picnic hampers, community singing, mistresses and wives, mysticism, secret societies, dangerous poetry, radical modern art, Freud, national strikes, revolution, anarchists, bombers, British concentration camps ... oops, is that really a hundred years ago?!?

The Mekons travel back/forward to a world unaware that it’s waiting for the pistol to CRACK CRACK CRACK in Sarajevo, plotting their singular course through the digital tsunami of contemporary sounds that blare tinnily from your mobile phone or spin at 78rpm in His Master’s Voice from the horn of your exquisite Gramophone.

Leap forward by jumping into the past.  Or leap into past by jumping forward.  Or some such Dr Who-like time travelling "the more things change the more they stay the same" sonic dabblings.


Short Description
  • The main musical thrust is a sort of exotic folk rock, mostly British in origin and supporting the usual provocative lyrical barbs, but with the flavors of every other musical spice the band has picked up in its nearly 35 years of existence... The result is one of the Mekons’ most enticing records, rewarding multiple spins and signaling a band still in the prime of its long life.

    — The Big Takeover
  • The Mekons see a bit of today reflected in these songs, which have implications beyond their setting. It is, ultimately and unsurprisingly, a deeply angry and contentious album, yet one that glories in the act of musical collaboration.  They sound like they’re having a blast.

    — Paste
  • The Mekons have made their discontent more aesthetically appealing on Ancient & Modern, but if their rage is more graceful, it's no less powerfully felt, and the intelligence and care that went into this album ultimately makes its dour message cut even deeper; it's the Mekons' most accomplished bit of record making in some time. 

  • Meaty and grizzled folk rock...After all these years, you still want to join them.

    — Rolling Stone
  • A thorny mix of antiquey folk, squalling punk and Weimar-era cabaret

    — Washington Post

Track List

  • 1. Warm Summer Sun
  • 2. Space In Your Face
  • 3. Geeshie
  • 4. I Fall Asleep
  • 5. Calling All Demons
  • 6. Ugly Bethesda
  • 7. Ancient & Modern
  • 8. Afar & Forlorn
  • 9. Honey Bear
  • 10. The Devil at Rest
  • 11. Arthur's Angel


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