Fear and Whiskey

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Fear and Whiskey
Studio album by Mekons
Released 1985
Recorded 1984–1985
Genre Alternative rock, alternative country
Length 35:13
Label Sin
Producer Mekons
Mekons chronology
The Mekons Story
(1983)
Fear and Whiskey
(1985)
The Edge of the World
(1986)
Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
Allmusic 4.5/5 stars[1]
Robert Christgau A+[2]
Dusted (favorable)[3]
Pitchfork 9.7/10[4]
PopMatters (favorable)[5]
Treble (favorable)[6]

Fear and Whiskey is the fourth studio album by English rock band Mekons. It was released in 1985 and marked their return from a several-year hiatus. It is credited as being the first alternative country album, as it blends the band's previously-established punk rock style with a country music sound. The album was initially released by Sin Records to significant critical praise and commercial success. However, due to Sin's small capacity for production and distribution, the album then remained largely unavailable until it was rereleased in 2002 by Quarterstick Records, a subsidiary of Touch and Go Records.

The musical style represents a sharp break with the group's previous work, as fiddle, steel guitar, and harmonica are included, but the instrumentation of punk music is also present, particularly on the energetic "Hard to be Human Again". Tom Greenhalgh, one of the primary creative forces in the Mekons, commented that as he listened to a great deal of country music in the early 1980s and "pretty soon the difference between the three chords of country and the three chords of punk became blurred."[7] The album closes with a cover of Leon Payne's "Lost Highway".

The album's lyrics describe a dark scenario of a community struggling to retain its capacity for joy and humanity through a devastating war. Rock critic Robert Christgau described it as "a sort of concept album sort of about life during wartime".[2]

Track listing[edit]

All songs written and composed by Mekons, except as noted. 

No. Title Writer(s) Length
1. "Chivalry"     4:03
2. "Trouble Down South"     4:15
3. "Hard to Be Human Again"     3:58
4. "Darkness and Doubt"     5:15
5. "Psycho Cupid (Danceband on the Edge of Time)"     2:52
6. "Flitcraft"     3:23
7. "Country"     2:54
8. "Abernant 1984/5"     2:21
9. "Last Dance"     3:13
10. "Lost Highway"   Leon Payne 2:59

References[edit]

  1. ^ Thom Jurek. "Fear and Whiskey". Allmusic. Retrieved 22 February 2012. 
  2. ^ a b Robert Christgau. "The Mekons". robertchristgau.com. Retrieved 22 February 2012. 
  3. ^ Nathan Hogan (21 April 2002). "The Mekons - Fear and Whiskey". Dusted. Retrieved 22 February 2012. 
  4. ^ Chris Dahlen (6 March 2002). "Mekons". Pitchfork. Retrieved 22 February 2012. 
  5. ^ Mark Desrosiers (21 January 2002). "Mekons: Fear and Whiskey". PopMatters. Retrieved 22 February 2012. 
  6. ^ Jeff Terich (9 November 2006). "Mekons". Treble. Retrieved 22 February 2012. 
  7. ^ "The Mekons: Fear and Whiskey". wacobrothers.com. Retrieved 22 February 2012. 

External links[edit]