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From the book 1001 Albums You Must Hear Before You Die.

Fear and Whiskey

Mekons

1985

Wikipedia

Fear and Whiskey

Rating

2.66

Votes

3213

Reviews

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5

So you're telling me that a British band did in 1984 what Viagra Boys did on In Spite of Ourselves in 2021, for a whole album, with copious violin, and I didn't listen to any of it until today? Put this directly in my veins, stat. I don't care if it stops holding up eventually: This is exactly for me and there's an entire discography and several relistens ahead. Fine food for my imagination.

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4

I was brought up on a diet of fear and whiskey. My old man used to beat me black and blue, then douse me in whiskey and set me alight. It was an exciting time to grow up and sculptured me into the well-rounded human I am today.

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3

Utterly bizarre. Weird rambling speech over punky violins, mad subject matters. Sometimes you hear an album and you have no idea if it’s genius or madness. One star? Five? Who can tell?

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4

A British group that decides to defy expectations by laying fiddles, harmonicas, and country guitar hooks onto a punk-rock foundation should be praised and applauded when it is done as spectacularly as this. Although the war-time themes of the songs would expect you to have a brooding, dark tone, the songs are actually really fun and catchy. I never thought I would hear an album like this, it's an underrated gem. Favorite Song: Country Least Favorite Song: Psycho Cupid

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2

Je tenais à m'excuser pour la faute de syntaxe que j'ai commise en rédigeant ma critique de l'album de Gainsbourg. Ça n'arrivera plus.

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2

just not in to diddly dee punk. as soon as the fiddle turns up i lose interest. i used to play football for the bolton irish centre in the north of england celtic supporters tournament. after the football they would hire a function room and there would always be a fucking diddly dee band on and all these english people would sing along to these irish republican songs because they support a scottish football team that has something to do with ireland. all a bit weird and has probably put me off it even more. i'd like to thank buckfast for getting me through that nonsense. the americans seem to bum this kind of irish punk too. fucking history nonces.

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5

never heard of this act but really enjoyed this album. normally “british pub band” is a tough sell but it works

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4

A tale of 2 completely different sides to an album. The first side is decent (first song is great and Hard to be Human is very good), but the second side is quality alt-country cowpunk, and definitely worth the listen.

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4

BOMB

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4

interesting, proboably should listen more before id give it a final rating

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4

Not bad at all actually

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4

Pretty good

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4

I honestly didn’t think I’d like this one, but I did! I guess the whole country punk thing is up my alley.

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4

Medio punk así gracioso. Sin más.

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4

Sons diferentes, interessantes e muito bons

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4

Yeah liked that. Four stars possibly just because it's new to me.

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4

really enjoyed this. great production on the album too

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4

Really good album loved it lots.

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4

false

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4

Muss ich nochmal an einem ruhigen Abend mit Whiskey hören aber gehört definitiv schon zu meinen persönlichen Neuentdeckungen.

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4

Actually liked this. Will need to relisten to it sometime.

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1

Best Song: None. Worst Song: Chivalry. What in the 8-bit cowboy is that background instrumental? Overall: I will be surprised if there is a worse vocal performance on this list. This sounds like your milquetoast colleague who always wants to go to karaoke, so you assume they must be able to sing, but when they get on stage they just start loudly talking with the music. And it's interspersed with amateur theatre? Even better. This album is one of the 1001 ways to tell that you've actually already died and you were sent to the bad place.

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5

Really good album. Country elements are strong and not half-assed. Musicianship is top notch, and the lyrics were good but hard to follow. This album was a joy.

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4

great, kinda weird but i really liked it!!

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4

I dig this! Kinda like if the Clash or even the Smiths made an alt country album. I can hear the influence from this in so much other shit.

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4

Wow, this is an excellent album. It's this great intersection of sounds/genres with lyrics that are darkly poetic and beautiful. The conceptual element of the war pulls everything together really well and is like nothing I've quite heard in a post punk album. The dark subject matter could make an album like this a real slog, but musically it leans to the upbeat, like a lot of the best country music does. The Leon Payne cover at the end is a great choice that really fits with the whole mood of the album. Fave Songs: Abernant 1984/5, Darkness and Doubt, Chivalry, Country

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4

As this started I thought it's not bad but it's also not that good. Then by the 3rd /  4th tracks (Hard to be Human Again and Darkness and Doubt) it gets very weird but in a good way.  I'll probably be the first to ever draw this parallel but the weirdness reminds me of that Brazilian psychedelic band Os Mutatntes.  The weirdness is extensive and covers not only the lyrics and melodies but also the singing and  the instrumentals. This LP is definitely weird. Nothing wrong with weird; there is good weird and bad weird. For me it's good weird.  3 ratings are so middle of the road  I feel I need to avoid a 3 since it doesn't work for weird bands.

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4

Una altra de les joies per descobrir dels 80. Punk, country, folk, tot barrejat amb molt de gust i inspiració. Una mena de Levellers accelerats, The Pogues meets Buzzcocks amb temes tan bons com 'Darkness and Doubt', 'Hard to Be Human Again' o la versió de 'Lost Highway'. Sempre l'he tingut al radar i havia escoltat alguna vegada, però aquesta és la primera on finalment he captat la raó de la seva inclusió a la llista

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4

1985 - British Post-Punk

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4

Kinda mid

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4

I liked this. True post punk where they could experiment with the formula.

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4

great mix of punky vibes and country sounds. Interesting lyrical exploration which tracks for cold war and unfortunately can remain pretty relevant.

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4

Fun stuff.

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4

Not at all what I was expecting… I thought American garage rock. The is not that! Very enjoyable; needs a revisit though!

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4

Lovely stuff

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3

Not my thing, but was interesting.

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3

Meh.

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3

not bad at all, i liked their other songs too

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3

I didn't write the review immediately after listening to the album. I think it was a punk album that include is violin. It was pretty good. Obviously not too memorable.

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3

I respect what's going on here, but the execution doesn't do much for me. Maybe I'd just need more time with it.

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3

It’s fine.

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3

Feels like the talking head but with more of an Irish instrument choice hits liked it

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3

This could either grow on me or become very annoying - not sure which yet.

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3

Folk. Un poco coñazo.

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3

This didn’t do it for me

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3

A bit of David Bowie vibes, but not bad! A decent listen.

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3

Listenable but not really my cup if tea. ***

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3

3.5

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3

Decent album. Last dace is the best song for me.

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3

Weird. Reminded me of The The

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3

Grato descubrimiento

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3

this felt like a talking heads album, but mediocre

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3

Interesting - I always thought the Mekons were American. A couple of really good songs. I imagine they are listened to by very serious men.

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3

No los tenía muy controlados. Si me compro el disco algún día, podría ponerlo al lado de los de los Pogues y detrás de los de Clash. Esta escucha me ha merecido la pena.

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3

Lustige Mischung aus pogues und clash. Aber gehört haben muss man das nicht

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3

Si l'on passe outre le fait que cet album soit un plagia des Midnight Runners, ainsi qu'outre le fait que ce groupe culminant à 40 000 auditeurs mensuels n'a sa place dans cette liste que grâce à sa complicité avec Robert Dimery, on peut alors apprécier l'album pour ce qu'il est, sympathique.

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3

Folkiger Punk, Punkiger Folk. Gut hörbar, aber nicht mein Ding!

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3

It was cute, not outstanding

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3

Punk rock and country kind of sound. Its ok I guess.

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3

I think I like this album a lot to be honest. It's got like this almost blues/country punk sound to it. My stand out song on this one is Last Dance. Something about it really just stood out to me, Made me emotional. Just that whole "I wanted to say fall in love, I wanted to say fall in love with me." Just emotions man. Better than I thought it was going to be for sure.

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3

Un bon album rock dans ce genre. 3.70

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3

They sound like the Clash playing Dexys on this one

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3

did not seem to be mixed between the two styles well enough.

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3

Benjamin Mendy

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3

Takes the good things about country (e.g. melodies and instruments) and fuses it with post-punk. It works well, and it's highly innovative, but it looks like it never quite caught on. Maybe because the genre is just punk with country inspiration, and that's not enough of a gimmick to lead a movement. The tracks are all interesting and aesthetically pleasing. The first half is the most experimental, and it takes more inspiration from indie rock and pop than country. It's not coherent and the production feels like a mess, but they're ok. It wasn't until "Psycho Cupid" where I felt a bit annoyed. Which is perfect because the second side switched gears and actually reminded us what this album is about. Country and punk. Those last few songs flow together well and use country influences super well. I almost feel inspired to try what they did to punk. I don't think it's a masterpiece like others think, but it's different in a really good way, and I would give the album a 4 if both sides were like this. Favorite song is "Last Dance." It's like if a country club accidentally invited a punk vocalist but decided to go with it.

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3

Not bad, but didn't stand out too much to me

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3

3/5

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3

Just fascinated by the fact that a British band sounds so country. A few songs were enjoyable, but wasn't really a favorite.

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3

Really good. punky-arty-country Brit-pop-ish fun

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3

2.8

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3

The countrified sound must have thrown off their early fans. The first few songs are catchy, eclectic & the violin is a nice touch. Later they remind me a bit of the Pogues. The singer is hard to listen to for a full album.

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3

This was pretty good and I guess alt country is a thing. While I didn’t mind listening to it, I can’t say I liked it enough to ever listen to again. 3

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3

A decent record, 80s rock with a country twist

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3

Maybe I'm just charmed by the novelty, but this is great.

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3

I dig it

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3

grew on me over the course of the album

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3

It’s a decent album but not my style

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3

HAPPY FOLK TUNES, CHIVALRY RELISTEN

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3

I am sure I have heard something from the Mekons before. After listening to this album, I'm still not sure what I've heard from the band before this album. The album has a sense of overcast and tempered dread, without giving up to being fully catastrophic. I enjoyed the album, but I'm not sure if I will remember this album long enough to come back for a second listen.I am sure I have heard something from the Mekons before. After listening to this album, I'm still not sure what I've heard from the band before this album. The album has a sense of overcast and tempered dispair, without giving up to absolute dread. I often like a dark tinge to the music I listen to. I enjoyed the album, but I'm not sure if I will remember this album long enough to come back for a second listen.

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3

Interesting - but not sure I would want to listen to that more than once

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3

2022.01.11

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3

Joy Division really was one of the most influential bands of the 80's, couldn't stop thinking of them while listening to this album. Not to say it's bad at all, I quite enjoyed it, but felt too mixed on it for a few songs. A pretty nice album if you're a fan of punk/alternative/Irish pub sounds. 3.5/5

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3

Totally unfamiliar with the Mekons. Hard to get an accurate impression after one listen

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3

This is why I am here, to discover bands and albums that I have no clue about. I went into this hoping for good things. It was fine though, nothing special on first listen.

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3

The mix of indie, punk and folk is really different and interesting. A through line from this through Belle and Sebastian to Black Country New Road is quite apparent. Not every experiment works, but when they do, as they do with Psycho Cupid it's transcendent. When they don't, it's just good. Flitcraft has a lovely Dexys vibe too - I can see the links - Bands that fiercely do their own thing regardless of the fashions.

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3

Decent. Varied between thinking "is this a precursor to I, Ludicrous" and "No, this is a bit more punky". Decent listen. Would I listen again? Probably not. Would I turn it off if it came up on random places? Probably not.

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3

I knew the Mekons a little bit from hearing them on compilations from their more punk days. This one is a lot more experimental, some of which works, some of which really doesn't, and is much different sounding than what I expected based on the little I knew going in.

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3

Very eclectic. Enjoyed probably slightly more than half the tracks though. Shame that the lead track was bad though as it coloured my opinion of the whole thing.

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3

Good album but I don’t like fractured country lol. Favs were chivalry and lost highway

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3

Another album that is new to me. I loved it from the first opening seconds on Chivalry. It reminded me how brilliant albums use to be when they actually sounded like albums. 35-40 minutes is the perfect length. No ta to add ons and bonus tracks. Wonderfully wonky and unlike anything else around the time. You can hear the influences this had as post-punk grew up to become something a little more mature and socially aware.

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3

Yeah ok 80s pommy pub rock sorta stuff. Never heard it before yet it sounds like something I've heard a million times. Songwriting is kinda low effort. Nowhere near as energetic as the pogues, or as moody as the cure or smiths. Overall it's as generic as it gets, but it's not awful and it only goes for half an hour. 3/5.

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3

Pretty nice stuff. It keeps a solid beat going and I like when the strings are added into the mix, but I don't think that I'll ever really go out of my way to listen to this again, either. C

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3

Initially thought this was going to be a 4/5, but as the songs progressed, I liked it less and less. It wasn't bad, but it wasn't especially good either. 3/5

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3

This is pretty cool. Janky, shambling, unusual. Reminds me of a lot of downright odd-sounding first wave punk like the Raincoats. Or like if Big Audio Dynamite went into British folk and American country instead of hip hop and reggae. The vague violen melodies over droning bass reminds of Richard Thompson's approach, but more punk and experimental.

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3

Fine, has some nice bits.

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3

What if country music ended up in a London pub and drank too much? This is the album. Bar bonding singalong of Hank Williams, the social commentary of punk, and the rainy days of The Cure. It's a weird bastard of a child that is surprisingly enjoyable.

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3

Some great songs, but not really a great album as a whole for me. I definitely see the appeal and why it became so influential, I just wish it was more consistent.

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2

Interesting mixture of country, rock and psychadelic effects, but i hate country

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2

meh

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2

meh. rockabilly is not my thing

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2

Don‘t like his voice. Rather boring.

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2

2.5

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2

2/10

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2

i was not ready for this.

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2

I like the early stuff from the mekons more. I found this to be a bit of a chore even with the short runtime. Don't dig the folksier arrangements.

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2

Meh.

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2

meh

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2

Fine. Middle of the road. Nothing to rave about.

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2

Not for me.

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2

A little bit country. A lot punk. Didn't grab me.

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2

Had to source this elsewhere as for some reason Spotify didn't have any songs to play from it. I didn't enjoy the vocals, the songs on the whole didn't interest me either but some of them were okay.

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2

horrible

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2

Alt-country/post punk. Occasionally weird, occasionally good. BT: Chivalry, Hard To Be Human Again, Last Dance

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2

Didn’t enjoy it and didn’t even notice when it had finished.

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2

Not crazy about this one. 2

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2

Perhaps a groundbreaking band, but not a groundbreaking album. Good enough not to be bad.

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2

Overrated?

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2

80s speaky-pop, but not that catchy

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2

Meh

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2

Boring. 2 starz.

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2

Eh. I know why this is here but I just didn’t find it memorable.

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2

Is it punk? Is it country? It surely isn't good.

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2

Decent instrumentals. Terrible lyrics and vocals.

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2

Not the biggest fan of country music but it wasn't a bad listen. The first half was better than the second though, with great songs like Chivalry and Hard to be Human which were stronger compared to the more country songs after.

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2

Not great, kinda like flogging molly and the clash mixed together.

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2

Interchangeable with any other folk/rock nonsense.

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2

Occasionally threatens to be really good. But sadly never materialises. Most sounds like a band failing to be interesting but succeeding at being annoying

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2

Puha en omgang. Totalt stressende at høre på, med et vivar af instrumenter og lyde. Nej tak

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2

Reminds me of the Pogues and Dexy’s. I’m bewildered by two comments that say that they sound like the Talking Heads though, huh?? I just can’t relate to country or punk so this is not my jam.

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2

2.4 - album felt included more for its noteworthiness than its quality. Appreciated the eclectic and nature, could hear a lot of influence for The Pogues, Dropkick Murphy’s and a bit of Blur throughout.

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2

So British. This not doing anything for me aside from a guitar solo or two at the end of the album.

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2

The production is pretty good. I hate the vocals. Honestly think I'd enjoy this more as an instrumental album.

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2

Obviously English style singing which is good, just a little too punky with the out of tune singing. I only really liked the first song. Nice idea to do a punk/country crossover (early alt-country?).

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2

Off pitch is not a good attribute, no.

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2

I liked the idea but poor execution

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2

Some nice ideas, the Mekons are really an idea band - as in I like the idea of the Mekons more than I like their music. Was it really the first alt-country album? Anyway, not much distinguished music.

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2

One listen sufficient. There is a reason this didn't get released widely in 1985. Not shocking, but not good.

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2

“Meh”kons Good title

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2

Ik voel de potentie maar dit album is echt veel te vaag. Ik kan me niet voorstellen dat dit serieus bedoeld is geweest geworden. **

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2

Someone’s drunk uncle recorded an album of himself doing karaoke at the pub.

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2

I was excited about this one. I mean “Fear and Whiskey” is basically my personal mantra. Alas, while it was definitely interesting, I wasn’t a huge fan. Sorry.

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2

Wow. Nobody gives a shit about this record. The first track has 161,000 plays on Spotify, but the others have less than half as many. Another critically-acclaimed UK post-punk record on this list. It's a genre I'm inclined to like. But what sets this one apart from the rest? After listening, I'm not sure I know. They are a tight band, and they are less metronomic than other bands from this moment. The drum machines weren't taking over. That's good I guess.

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2

I had higher hopes for this. It passed me by a bit as punky irish music only slightly more modern than The Pogues.

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2

Folky punk is kinda ehhh to my tastes, but this wasn’t tooo bad. I won’t be actively tracking more down from Mekons, but I won’t shy away from it either. 2.5

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2

Pretty boring.

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2

Shannah missed most but didn't particularly enjoy what she heard. (1.5/5) Jane thought it was very 80s and a bit schizophrenic. (A generous 2/5) Bill commends them for writing a bunch of songs that weren't just love songs. (2/5) Few songs that Conor'd come back to. (2.5/5) 2/5

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2

Eh

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2

Another 90’s British punk group that sounds like a 90’s British punk group

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2

Kinda folksy Indi stuff. Not awful sounding but not my vibe. 2.5

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1

I did not like that country music. Just not good.

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1

I really didn't enjoy this album. Which is a shame as it has the coolest cover so far.

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1

Despite my penchant for folky stuff, I felt the vocalist had little talent. Particularly hated Psycho Cupid.

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1

Not really for me—kind of experimental, but doesn’t quite work

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1

Not a fan at all of this

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1

Sounds kinda like country, but gay

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1

This album is really weird and also, I really hated it. At least the four songs I was able to listen to (OK, two of those I only listened to partially).

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1

never heard of them. first thought: i kind of like this. weird bg vocals, nice. music is okay ish, guy singing is not it :( i'd enjoy this a lot more if it was just the instrumental... okay no, shit sounds off key in a bad way :/ i guess that its what they were going for but its purely unpleasant, i like weird music but this is not hitting

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1

Jesus Christ. This is awful. Singer can't hold a tune, and the lyrics and concepts at play here are beyond cringe-y. Kind of like a mix of Ricky Gervais' David Brent character from 'The Office' and Daniel from the doco series 'The Undateables'.

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1

Well, this is terrible. No wonder I've instinctually avoided it all these years.

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1

If someone decided to start a Country themed parody band based on The Cure. The auditory representation of r/cursedimages.

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1

Not for me, not really sure what genre this fits into as it all feels a bit unstructured.

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1

Had high hopes for this - a punk / country hybrid, what’s not to like? - but I thought it was utterly dire from start to finish. An ugly ungainly mess.

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1

1/5 - Utter nonsense

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1

Not much stood out for me from this album

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1

Alt Country? What in hell? This sucked ass

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1

Прослушивание 1 1 Что происходит вначале?) Он специально в ноты не попадает?))) Ну и дерьмо. 2 Ничего не понимаю. Эмоций нет. Похоже на проходняк 3 Ну и хрень 4 Скучное дерьмо 5 А в чем прикол говорить хрень весь трек? 6 Какая скукаааа 7 Спасибо этой группе за то, что в альбоме так мало треков. Слушаю из-за уважения к сайту и автору книги. 8 Исполнитель не умеет петь. ЖЕСТЬ 9 Вот у меня вопрос, а почему это в 1001 альбоме? Видимо надо было заполнить дерьмом. 10 Ура конец. Какой ты rollin stone. Как хорошо, что это всё Вывод: оценка понятна: 1/5

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1

Ridiculous.

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1

I love their first single, a proper slice of messy punk pop. But I have never gotten along with their country-tinged later work, despite endless plays on the John Peel show. I was hoping this was a chance to change that, but I remain unmoved. The ‘looseness' of their earlier work is still there, but it sounds to me that they have sucked both post-punk and country dry, and this is what was left. And poor Hank must be turning in his grave at the karaoke-style closer.

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Meh

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