• They are a punk band but they don't play punk rock, exactly. They mess around with country, reggae, cabaret, folk, Eastern music and whatever else they can shake loose in their cultural scavenger trips.

    — Greg Kot, Sound Opinions
  • The Mekons never feel self-pity, and they’re always ready to join in the fight against authoritarian bullshit and hawkish subterfuge.

    — PopMatters
  • For over thirty years, the Mekons have flouted the rules or exclusively followed their own. Their post-punk roots didn’t stop them from writing country songs, and the culture at large was never safe from their carefully-considered criticism, in any genre.

    — MTV
  • The Mekons play like punks not because they forget their skills, but because they remember what punk taught them about how to feel.

    — Minneapolis City Pages
  • Elvis Costello once threatened, "I want to bite the hand that feeds me," but the Mekons tear away an entire limb.

    — Trouser Press
  • The Mekons are the most revolutionary group in the history of rock 'n' roll.

    — Lester Bangs
Hometown: 
Leeds, UK / Chicago, IL / NYC / Siberia

“The Mekons are the most revolutionary group in the history of rock ‘n’ roll.” —Lester Bangs

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

The genre-defying Mekons formed in Leeds, England in 1977, born form the emerging British punk scene. They progressed from socialist art students with no musical skills to the prolific, raucous progeny of Hank Williams. This current classic line-up has remained intact since the mid-1980s.  Theirs is an improbable history – a surprising and influential embrace of folk and country music; with occasional forays into the art world. Throughout their history, they have worked collaboratively and collectively with everything credited to the band, never to individuals. Their mind-boggling output consistently blurs the lines between high art and low and has included exhibitions in the UK and US, a deranged musical recorded and staged with Kathy Acker, an art performance with Vito Acconci, and several books including the unique art catalog/unfinished novel Mekons United. The mekons continue to make bold, unpredictable music while staying true to the punk ethos. Their mind-boggling output consistently blurs the lines between high art and low and they remain one of the truly great live bands. 

Released in 2016, existentialism, is a book of art, writing and music, and includes a CD of new songs recorded in real time at Jalopy Theatre in Red Hook, Brooklyn, featuring a feral choir of Mekons' show attendees. 

Mekons are subjects of the fantastic 2014 documentary Revenge of the Mekons.

 

Recommended if You Like: 
Lost Causes
The Clash
Gang of Four
Buzzcocks
Television
Wire

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