Mekons: Work All Week

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Work All WeekThe Mekons:
“Work All Week”
from Virgin 7″

All my friends know how nuts I am about the Mekons. They’re a band that’s hard to explain, they’ve been around for 30 years, gradually moving from Leeds to Chicago, as bandmates came and went and came back, and they switch styles every few albums (Post-punk, art noise, country, indie rock, country again, sea shanties, electronic disco, more country, disco versions of their greatest hits, etc.). When they play live it all comes together and makes sense, and there’s something there for everyone. Probably my favorite thing about the band is how they temper their highbrow musical, political and literary references with lowbrow boozy self-deprecation and a great sense of humor.

The sleeve for the 7″ of “Work All Week” is a good example of their appropriation and humor, and the song is a good example of their very early post-punk style, basically a sloppier, catchier version of their Leeds neighbors Gang of Four. It’s not their best song, but I chose it because it’s a bit rare (This mp3 was made from the Meek’s third single from 1979, it’s never been released on CD in the U.S.) If you hate this song, don’t write them off, somewhere in their vast repertoire there’s something you’ll like. There’s finally a must-have (import-only, sadly) Greatest hits album, which was always nearly impossible considering all their label-hopping, that’s a great place to start, or pick up “Rock and Roll” or “So Good It Hurts,” both are late-80s masterpieces finally available on CD again.