After touring on the back of their twisted non-retrospective Punk Rock in 2004, the Mekons picked up their instruments and lost themselves far beyond the beaten path, out in the wilds of the English countryside. They drank whiskey all night, listened to the rocks and the Stones and tuned into strange old frequencies. They recited lines from Darwin and Thoreau and renewed their vows in a remote stone circle high up on the blasted heath where birds and branches sing beneath the roar of jet fighters as they swoop over the sharp crags and dark water, rehearsing for Armageddon.
Removed from the restraints of conventional studio technology, the Mekons navigate an undulating sonic landscape of lavish melodies, mantric chants and shimmering acoustic experimentation, all the while displaying the same natural grace and precision that drives the sparkling salmon forever upstream through the fierce current to mate and die.
Natural is a celebration of ritual, paganism and sacrifice - both ancient and modern. The opaque alchemy of 'Dark Dark Dark' finds an echo in the bewitching old white magic of 'White Stone Door.' Blood is spilled in the somewhat less-than-innocent sylvan past in 'Wine or Money,' while 'Burning in the Desert, Burning,' the band's chilling inventory of the mechanics of terrorism, abruptly transports us back to the modern world and a darker kind of sacrifice. 'The Old Fox' mixes ancient wisdom and nature's unlikely survival in the city, and the translucent harmonies of 'Perfect Mirror' conjure ancient myths of paradise lost.
Natural is the Mekons' first CD of new material since 2002's critically acclaimed OOOH! The Mekons formed in Leeds, Yorkshire, England in 1977, so by any bugger's reckoning this must be their 30th anniversary! Essentially the same band that recorded Mekons classics like Fear & Whiskey, Edge Of The World & Mekons Rock'n'Roll way back in the '80s, this battle hardened line-up featuring Rico Bell, Sarah Corina, Lu Edmonds, Steve Goulding, Tom Greenhalgh, Susie Honeyman, Jon Langford & Sally Timms will tour the States in September and October.