Ancient & Modern

On their 26th studio album, British post-punk vets and alt-country innovators the Mekons aim to cover 100 years of history, from the eve of World War I to the present. Frontman Jon Langdon’s lyrics touch on war, death, religion, nostalgia and the battle between good and evil, and because these themes are applicable to any era, few songs stand out as fundamentally “ancient” or “modern.” Musically, however, the Mekons seem more committed than usual to looking back. Save for the battering rockers “Space in Your Face” and “Honey Bear,” the band serves up subtle British folk and Americana, giving songs like “Ugly Bethesda” and “The Devil at Rest” an appropriately maudlin feel.

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