"Retreat From Memphis" CD (Quarterstick)
Simply put, the new Mekons album drops musical bombs all over the indie map with hit or miss results. The wasted effort and expended artistic ammunition point to one conclusion - the band could use a vastly improved targeting system. Some cuts are worthy mid-tempo punk exercises but the rest are angular, jittery tunes relying heavily on the rhythm section's support for propulsion and any explosive power they may contain.
"Pussy, King of the Pirates" CD (Quarterstick)
Concept albums are a bit of a rare thing in the nineties, which is nice considering that everyone from Rush to the Grateful Dead were doing them back in the seventies, and most of them sucked. The Mekons, England's legendary post-punk and TRULY alternative band, have recruited American, no-holds-barred feminist, Kathy Acker for this one-of-a-kind look at contemporary feminism and female sexuality. It's total sexual anarchy and if the album cover doesn't turn you off (or ON for that matter) then the lyrical content certainly will, as the X-rated Acker wrote the entire thing. "... The moon equals cracks / In my cunt ... I've never had a lover / Not in the world that exists / I've never had one / Piss on my teeth, shit and piss ... While the world cracks open / And all the fucks who've sat on my face / Those sniveling shits ... If you want what I want I'll tell you / I want everything / Whole rotten world come down and break / Let me spread my legs." She tells the story of Silver, the queen of the pirates, and her cutthroat band of followers, Ostracism, Antigone, Pussycat, Morgan, Bad Dog, Virgin Gold and others as they help O and her friend Ange (the innocent ones) seek out buried treasure in England. It's a bizarre tale of degradation and a search for identity, all told through spoken word monologue by Acker and an even stranger mix of disco, metal, abstract, punk and even a pub style sing along. Somebody please slip a copy of this into Tipper Gore's car stereo. (TOM)