Do you think about me?
Bloodshot BS024 CD, 1997
Do You Think AboutMe?
You Know Who
Got To Be Someone
A first review:
Date: Tue, 9 Sep 1997 01:42:05 -0400 (EDT)
Subject: Re: A smattering of questions
IMVHO (as a Wacos addict), Do you Think About Me is the best Wacos song ever
(it’s by Lonesome Bob and much as I love him they kick his butt with it. Of
course, that’s just what Wacos DO.) The second best Wacos song ever is Neil
Young’s Revolution Blues. I didn’t think the rest of the record was as good
as Flames, but I really love contrasting the sympathetic “South Bend” with
anything on “24 Hours a Day.” The fact that I don’t like some of it quite as
well does not mean I’d be willing to go through life without it.
I hope Chicago P2 ers will turn out for the release party (which,
coincidentally, is on my birthday) It’ll be a pretty happy one of the
better ones with Moonshine Willy, the Waco Brothers, Sally Timms and Rico
Bell. P2ers will especially enjoy the spirit of “Napa Valley”: I’ve been
drunk a thousand times/and I would sober up/but there’s no reason.”
Politically, the target here is apathy. It’s treated in at least two songs,
maybe more. I can’t remember. It’s the thousandth time that gets ya.
The Boston Globe / September 5, 1997, Friday
The Mekons’ Jon Langford gets a little bit country;
BY: By Jim Sullivan, Globe Staff
British-born singer-songwriter-guitarist Jon Langford often wears two or more hats, but at the moment, on holiday in southern Maine with his wife and child as summer’s winding down, he’s happy to report he’s wearing “no hats at all.”
Langford co-leads the Chicago-based country-punk Waco Brothers and the spread-all-over-the-map Mekons, the former of which has a CD called “Do You Think About Me?” out Sept. 16 on Bloodshot, and the latter of which shows up for a hootin’ and hollerin’ gig at the Middle East Downstairs Thursday.
“The Mekons gigs have always been an extension of . . . social life for me,” says Langford. “It’s always been quite a serious band with quite a serious agenda, but you go to a gig, and it’s like you take something fun very seriously. That’s the point of music on a Friday night. People have been doing that for hundreds of years.”
The Mekons, formed in 1977 in Leeds alongside fellow left-wing punkers Gang of Four, are noted for rattling cages and raising holy hell. They’re a little bit country, a lot rock ‘n’ roll, and, depending on the mood, you’ll find techno and dub creeping in, too. The Mekons, which are co-led by singer-songwriter-guitarist Tom Greenhalgh and can grow to nine members in concert, will be in our midst next week because of the “Mekons United Art Exhibit” in New York, at the Threadwaxing Space, from Sept. 13 through Oct. 31. No joke. Various Mekons are painters. As such, they figured they’d mount a quick East Coast tour while they were all gathered together. (Their label, Touch & Go/Quarterstick, just reissued their 1980 album, “Mekons”; they’ll be recording a new one in Chicago shortly.)
The Waco Brothers? They started as a we’ll-play-for-beer-money country-punk cover band for the relocated Langford and his pals, who include Mark Durante (KMFDM, Revco) and Alan Doughty (Jesus Jones). “The Wacos are just a chemically different selection of people similar to the Mekons,” explains Langford, “in the shared vocals and shared songwriting. Different because, geographically, it’s a hometown band.” (Drummer Steve Goulding wears the same hats as does Langford; he’s also a Mekon.)
Both bands share a communal ethos, a welcome-to-the-clubhouse vibe. “I like sweaty little clubs,” says Langford, “where there is some way to communicate. We always worried, when punk was going on, about the barrier between the audience and the band. There is a way of breaking that down, where you’re all on the same level.” From: http://www.imusic.com/showcase/country/wacobrothers.html
Just when you thought it was safe to like tepid country rock crapola and third-rate, angst-ridden indie posturing again, your comrades at Chicago’s own Bloodshot Records — the nation’s sole purveyors of Insurgent Country music — are here to give you what you really need: a careening three-chord frontal assault, devilishly gleeful “fuck-it-all” delivery, glorious, down-in-flames, beer-logic despair, and a heart of solid coal. Ladies and germs! Presenting — Do You Think About Me — the new cd from THE WACO BROTHERS.
When we last heard from the Wacos, they were swinging a “Nine Pound Hammer” on Bloodshot’s Straight Outta Boone County compilation in the company of Robbie Fulks, Hazeldine and Holler, to name a few. Now the cheese stands along — witness ten all new-songs that piss on and subsequently blur the lines between punk and country. From the horn-driven album-opening title number (call it “Exile on Waco Street”), to the blitzkrieg cover of Neil Young’s “Revolution Blues” (they ain’t called the Waco Brothers for nothin’), to weaving, whiskey-addled waltzes and swinging, spooky-ass barnburners –Do You Think About Me is guaranteed to rock the union hall. Some of these tracks are spilt-over from the acclaimed To The Last Dead Cowboy and Cowboy in Flames sessions - songs too good to die — and be sure to listen out for our old pal Tom Ray of The Bottle Rockets whomping the double bass on a few songs. All together its 31 minutes of Waco greatness — where country spirit beats the hell out of country form –
Introducing the hardest drinking men in show business:
Jon Langford (Mekons, Steve Goulding (Mekons, Poi Dog, Rumour), Dean Schlabowske (Wreck), Mark Durante (KMFDM, RevCo), Alan Doughty (Jesus Jones), and Tracey Dear (world’s greatest living Englishman). v Do You Think About Me delivers a swift kick in the bread basket to the chickenshit and complacent, and serves as a moral centerpiece for the whole Insurgent Country movement. Keep ahead of the mounting, smoldering wreckage and don’t let the revolution pass you by…
The Waco Brothers once again explore the common angst of punk and country - with a definite leaning to the former. Only “Arizona Rose” and “You Know Who” feature vocals and instrumentation which would not seem foreign to your traditional-based country listener. While some tracks have insurgent country twang, others are strictly rock oriented. The opening title track recalls the Stones, and others such as “Frightened” and Neil Young’s “Revolution Blues” are clearly Clash-like.
Although the Wacos (featuring members of The Mekons and Jesus Jones amongst others) don’t display the reverence for country music that Bloodshot labelmates Robbie Fulks and the Grevious Angels appear to have, this one should appeal to the insurgent country listener coming at it from a predominantly punk background.
- Robert Wooldridge Another review by Linda Ray, from No Depression, Jan. 98.