"One of the great records of its era or any era.
The 2 star review above can only be a product of that reviewers genre bias. That reviewers recommends the mekons' more straight-forward rock efforts. Fear and Whiskey is not such... What it is is tremendously fun and painful at the same time.
Think Hank Williams at 6 AM after too much whiskey filtered through punk aesthetic.
The mekons have many amazing records in a number of genres. Rock and Roll is a great album in, well I bet you can guess that one, and So good it hurts is a wonderful slanted synth album, but Fear and Whiskey and its partner The Edge of the World are beyond genre and beyond tremendous."
One of the most important albums ever, the birthplace of cou
Robert Moore | Chicago, IL USA | 05/30/2009
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Robert Christgau in the early nineties wrote an aritcle in which he claimed that the Mekons were the greatest band in the world. Not greatest unknown band, just the best. I wouldn't go quite that far, but having seen them around 10 times (I live in their unofficial second hometown, Chicago, where leader Jon Langford now resides--Leeds, England is their official home) and owning nearly all their albums, I can attest that they are an unjustly neglected treasure. For a long time this album was only available as part of ORIGINAL SIN, which contained the entirety of FEAR AND WHISKY, as well as a couple of other EPs. The full album is absolutely essential for any serious rock and roll collection (though that is redundant, since if you have a serious rock and roll collection, you already own this album).
I must add that one of the great tragedies in music at the moment is that their greatest album, ROCK 'N' ROLL is available only as a hard-to-find German import. If my memory serves me correctly, Christgau named this his album of the year when it came out. And this time he was correct. ROCK 'N' ROLL and FEAR AND WHISKEY (or ORIGINAL SIN) are the two-must-own albums by the Mekons, though there are in addition many other ought-to-own albums."
Jeremy M. Seven | Oakland, CA USA | 01/22/2002
(5 out of 5 stars)
"It's excellent to see Fear & Whiskey finally available again. Like the Amazon review says, this is a timeless album. "Last Dance" is one of the best Mekons songs ever. BUT, why didn't they just re-release "Original Sin" with the extra tracks.."
A truly brilliant and inventive record. HOLDS UP EVER SO WE
Matthew Bialer | New York, New York United States | 08/25/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I think a true test of truly transcendent art in any medium is does it seem dated now? For instance, some of these recent "from the archives" Dylan releases sound like they could have been recorded yesterday. I used to LOVE Roxy Music in their day but I was recently listening to AVALON and - though I still like it - it sounds a little "of its time" to me. It doesn't mean I can't still appreciate it. FEAR AND WHISKEY. I am not even too sure it was appreciated by many back in 1985 but who cares. It sounds wonderful now. It's sloppy and drunken and all over the place. It's inspired music. It's a feast. It makes me renew my vows to great alternative music and so-called indie rock, to rock n roll in general. I love how the Mekons never cared about sticking to a genre. I see all of these bands that Pitchfork and hipster blogs and zines support and the Mekons so hold their own as a shining example of paving their own path. I hear all of that stuff about this record "inventing" alt-country. Maybe. Still sounds like the Mekons to me. And it probably did invent that genre...in a Mekons way. I am not even too sure if I hear that many bands today that sound like the Mekons (as I do with, say, the Replacements or, obviously, Gang of Four and a bunch of brooding eighties Brit bands. You know which bands I mean). But does it matter? I could wish...but I know for sure that the Mekons will never get elected in to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. They will probably never really come back (Come back? Were they here?) into vogue. But this record is so brilliant and fresh. I have to think that some future Jeff Tweedy or Jack White or Stephen Malkmus or Neutral Milk Hotel....is going to say that Mekons were (are...they will probably still be around. Give us another thirty!!) a seminal band. I think they are. Listen to this record. It was from Mars then. And it is still is. That is part of the greatness."