REVENGE OF THE MEKONS charts the unlikely career of the genre-defying collective notorious for being--as rock critic Greil Marcus notes--"the band that took punk ideology most seriously." ...
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REVENGE OF THE MEKONS charts the unlikely career of the genre-defying collective notorious for being--as rock critic Greil Marcus notes--"the band that took punk ideology most seriously." Born out of the 1977 British punk scene, the Mekons progressed from a group of socialist art students with no musical skills to the prolific, raucous progeny of Hank Williams. Joe Angio's exuberant documentary follows their improbable history - a surprising and influential embrace of folk and country music, forays into the art world and consistent bad luck with major record labels. Featuring interviews with celebrated fans, from author Jonathan Franzen to film director Mary Harron to comedian/musician Fred Armisen, REVENGE OF THE MEKONS reveals how, four decades into an ever-evolving career, punk's reigning contrarians continue to make bold, unpredictable music while staying true to the punk ethos.
This insightful documentary, directed by Joe Angio, focuses on the Mekons, a unique and eclectic band formed nearly 40 years ago by several Leeds University students, in England. Despite having virtually no commercial success the group has managed to put out some 26 albums, received high praise from music critics, and developed a devoted fan base as well.
Originally formed as a punk rock band in 1977 amidst the radicalism of the times in Leeds, the group eventually underwent a metamorphosis combining their original sound with American country and hillbilly music, which has produced a uniquely blended sound.
During the film, several music critics declare that the Mekons may be the only band to have maintained many of its key members for such a long period of time without any real commercial success. Instead, their interest is in being creative, having fun, and getting their music out into the world, appealing to those that enjoy it.
The documentary doesn't go into much detail of the personal histories of the band members, but it does present much of their wit and humor as the film progresses. The charisma of the two "leaders" Jon Langford and Sally Timms is undeniable though, and some of the other current band members reveal some interesting inside stories of occurrences over the years with the group.
Overall, I this movie was well-paced, informative, and interesting and I was engaged throughout.
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