• The Waco Brothers, a mash up of Jon Langford’s punk sensibilities and cowpunk twang, are probably the only band still around who merit the term "Insurgent Country"

    — Americana UK
  • The Waco Brothers aren’t about flawless, detailed songcraft. They’re about lager-soaked good times with just enough anxiety and doubt to make the trip worth taking

    — Pitchfork
  • The Wacos hold a pretty dim view of society (god love ‘em!), but they make it sound so bloody fun, you’d never notice.

    — Big Takeover
  • Time-honored country-punk formula of Half-Cash/Half-Clash, with the sound turned way up and the polish way, way down.

    — Rolling Stone
  • These boozy boys spit out country anthems for bitter grownups, songs that beg to be played with the volume cranked.  And when your yuppie neighbor bangs on the ceiling with a broom, you can twist the dial and let the Wacos tell him where to go.

    — The Stranger
  • The Waco Brothers are engaged in the righteous endeavor of connecting progressive impulses in American country/folk -- from dyed-in-the-wool lefty Woody Guthrie to pure products of old-time religion, such as Johnny Cash to the radical political aims of British punk. They're a band whose unlikely aim is to turn the American country song into a Molotov cocktail.

    — Memphis Weekly Wire
  • Smart and funny, pissed-off and tender-hearted, the Waco Brothers grabbed alt-country’s moral and musical high ground with 1995 debut, and they’ve never surrendered it. The Wacos connect traditional honky-tonk despair with leftist political analysis for the hardest roots-rock country around.

    — CMJ New Music
  • What makes the band a force to behold live is their refusal of subtlety. With three lead singers, a three-guitar lineup and a punk rock rhythm section, the band commits at a high level and rarely relents.

    — The Daily Herald
  • The band's songbook is filled with political parables fused to a lost highway aesthetic and loads of black humor... pass the bottle and turn up the jukebox.

    — Time Out Chicago
  • ...and dancers of all stripes jumped into the uproar on the tiny platform of a stage, seemingly destroying the barrier between band and audience. As the last bits of the tumultuous sound faded away, the crowd picked up the slack, cheering with all their might. A feeling of exhilaration permeated the air, leaving all assembled smiling the knowing smile. They'd been to rock & roll nirvana, and life just couldn't be any better.

    — Austin Chronicle SXSW
  • Possessed by the demon of rock'n'roll, haunted by the ghosts of old country music... to make matters better, the group's originals are so consistently inspired they come across as instant classics.

    — Billboard
  • The Wacos infuse lefty outrage into rollicking roots songs that lambaste Bush, Christian conservatives, commercial radio, and society in general enough to please any political hardcore band.

    — Onion AV Club
Chicago, IL

"I’ve never been able to find a live band in New York as consistently thrilling and funny and fun as the Waco Brothers." —Author and former Chicagoan Sarah Vowell

You've heard of the crossroads where Robert Johnson made his deal with the devil?

Well, the Wacos race towards the crossroads of punk and country, heedless of speed limits and stop signs.  The collisions spectacular, loud, energizing and sometimes messy. We've seen them a three hundred and forty six times, and the Waco Brothers never fail to entertain.  Subtlety is for the weak, so they've chosen the path of optimum mayhem and tomfoolery. 

Let's let singer/guitarist Jon Langford describe the nexus of punk and country:

"It's so direct and honest, it's almost painful ... All the songs are about sex and death and drinking. If you listen to early George Jones, it's simple, three-chord stuff where the subject is everyday life ... It could be the Buzzcocks."

The line-up, in case you haven't been paying attention: Jon Langford (Mekons, Pine Valley Cosmonauts), Steve Goulding (Mekons, Pine Valley Cosmonauts, Graham Parker & the Rumour), Alan Doughty (Jesus Jones, Dollar Store), Deano (Dollar Store, Wreck), and Tracy Dear (World's Greatest Living Englishman). On drums the past few years has been Joe Camarillo (Hushdrops).

With an improbable longevity, an impeccable rock and roll resume, and a go-for-broke live personae that can distract from the sharpness of their subject matters, it can be easy to take the Wacos for granted. But what was true at the beginning of the siege remains so today: in these fraught times, no one’s out there writing and performing with the political and personal so intertwined. Like a strange, colorful and possibly poisonous toad that lies dormant in the mud of an Amazonian rain forest, only to emerge when it seems like it’s necessary, the Waco Brothers are needed more than ever.

They are working to save music so you don't have to.

Compilation Tracks: 
Recommended if You Like: 
The Clash
The Pogues
The Hold Steady
Jason & the Scorchers

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