Mekons Natural

Mekons Natural

After a five-year layoff, the beloved Mekons return with a stirring folk punk record that recalls the organic eclecticism of the Clash’s Sandinista! Thirty years after first forming, the influential Mekons have endured many line-up changes — only Jon Langford and Tom Greenhalgh remain as original members. If the bizarre list of pseudonyms ("Reduced Iron Jon,” "Modified Sarahydrates,” etc.) attributed to Natural is to be believed, the band now have ten contributors and the boundless directions undertaken see the record bursting at the seams. Great narratives such as "The Old Fox” feature a mingling of distinctive voices over sparse but ambient acoustic guitar and harmonica, while "Shocking Curse Bird” harkens back to the British folk impulses of Mick Jones and Joe Strummer, enjoying the sounds of their own voices and tossing off a no pressure side for kicks. "Diamonds” is deceptively rousing pop folk, while "Burning in the Desert Burning” is a pointed anti-capitalist sing-along. There are all manner of infectious treats on Natural; it’s a true reminder of how much Mekons have been missed. (Quarterstick)