Leica M9, Nocti 0.95
Archive for August, 2010
It’s been pretty quiet ’round the parlor since the Mekons passed through on their 30th Anniversary tour a few years back… nothing from the Meeks proper, and where are Sally and Rico and all the rest with their solo albums? Even Jon Langford, the closest thing to a workaholic among the Meeks, seemed to have left the Waco Brothers out on the byways. So listening to Old Devils is like having an old friend drop by unexpectedly.
Under the aegis of Jon Langford and Skull Orchard, the music is closer to Langford’s ’98 solo album, Skull Orchard, and to the alt.country Wacos than to comic, cosmic Mekons. Too bad, but still, Langford remains a rock’n’roll treasure who while Chicago based, is still Welsh enough to appreciate Tom Jones; a first-gen British punk who can still crack a whip. Old Devils is tight, fun, and tuneful. Glad to have this old devil aboard.
In the last 12 months, Black Mountain has made moves toward world domination mostly through the cosmically odd use of “Druganaut” in an ad for the Buick Lacrosse (see Tulip Frenzy’s writeup here.) I guess last year was The Pink Mountaintops’ turn, though it was disappointing that we don’t seem to have anything new from other Black Mountain offshoots such as Blood Meridian or Lightning Dust.
Then in late July we got the gloriously sleazy single “Old Fang,” with its Deep Purple organ and video of Stephen McBean riding shotgun in an early ’70s Mustang as a Susan Atkins-type hippie vixen hitchhiker lures him to her psychedelic lair. “Old Fang” could have been the #1 song on WBCN circa 1972, and Black Mountain would have been headliners at Watkins Glen or something. In 2010, it comes off as an absolutely pitch perfect slice o’ mid-Nixon grunge.
The release of “The Hair Song” on their MySpace page gives a further indication of where the forthcoming Wilderness Heart is heading — the purest homage to Jimmy Page, Robert Plant and the boys, replete with “Kashmir” strings — this side of Lez Zeppelin. Get ready. September 14th release date.