Cowboy In Flames
See Willy Fly By
Take Me To The Fires
Out There A Ways
Out In The Light
Cowboy In Flames
Fast Train Down
Wreck On The Highway
Do What I Say
The Death Of Country Music
Alan Sprocket Doughty* Bass
Steve „Leopard Boy“ Goulding* Drums
Deano* Guitar, Vocals
Jonboy* Guitar, Vocals
Tracey Dear Mandolin, Vocal
Sub Commandante Marcus Durante* Steel Guitar
Iggy Yoachum Vocals
Led by the Mekons’ Jon Langford and also containing a number of other indie-rock refugees, this insurgent-country band comes on like rowdy drinking buddies who also happen to be committed leftists. The Wacos bring plenty of punk attitude to their boisterous performances, while laying bare the pain inflicted by corporate and government power.
The Wacos carry along their militant politics with equally hard-hitting music that sounds like a rowdy Texas honky tonk taken over by committed punk rockers. Their raucous, invigorating sound makes an appropriate vehicle for the scathing attack on government abuse in the album title song, and the portrayal of the deadening working-class grind in “Fast Train Down.”
Along with their own originals, the Wacos also turn out three spirited covers of country classics. Occasionally, the band’s raggedness limits their effectiveness. In particular, some of the songs could’ve used stronger vocals. And there’s also an unsuccessful attempt to resurrect the overused Bo Diddley beat in “Out In The Light.”
Still, the Wacos’ second album is an often-stirring document of hard-hitting music and politics.
– Don Yates
These days Leeds punk-rock intellectual and prophet without honour Jon Langford is ensconced in Chicago’s alternative country rock scene, The Waco Brothers being but one of the red-faced Mekon’s many musical outlets. If The Clash had followed through their Joe Ely fixation, they might have made an album like Cowboy In Flames. On See Willy Fly By and Take Me To The Fires Langford’s guttural growl sounds so much like Joe Strummer it’s almost unsettling. A suspiciously pseudonymous ‘Deano’ lends his gentler vocal tones to the less strident songs, and even the occasional Tex Mex stylings are dispatched with enough energy and conviction to silence any sarcastic Yee-hah!s.
Stewart Lee -Q
The latest chapter in the saga of Los Hermanos Wacos. Here’s a wicked little skunk tossed into the tent of bloated, co?r?rrupt excesses. Making good on their promise (or was that a threat??) of their first record, the Wacos deliver a slab brimming with grim romanticism, and joyous, near ecstatic, drunken stomps. Join the cause as they strip the fat and greasepaint off country music’s carcass and build a pagan temple out of its bones. In addition to the anthemic (and we don’t bandy that word around lightly) originals, there are scalding versions of “White Lightning,” “Wreck On The Highway,” and “Big River.” We think you’ll agree, “Cowboy In Flames” is a sure tonic to wash the taste of disgust out of a parched nation’s throat.
“Possessed by the demon of rock’n’roll, haunted by the ghosts of old country music…to make matters better, the group’s originals are so consistently inspired they come across as instant classics.”
Paul Verna Billboard
“They may be pillaging country’s grave, but in the Waco Brothers’ hands, such Go to the top desecration becomes an act of reverence.”
Greg Kot Chicago Reader