The Mekons

Heaven and Hell: The Very Best of the Mekons

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While the world's loyal legions of Mekons fans will undoubtedly complain that this or that great song has not been included on the set list, the fact remains that HEAVEN & HELL is the Mekons anthology that the universe has long been waiting for. A two-disc retrospective, HEAVEN & HELL spans from the UK band's early output (1980's "Snow") to 2004's "Work All Week." The superb, non-chronological sequencing gives a whiplash, merry-go-round tour of the group's multi-directional musical charms, which pack punk, folk, country, reggae, and art noise, among other influences, into a body-flattening wallop.

Nearly 25 years of consistently high-quality work is featured here, with equal attention to the Mekons' post-punk origins, their classic mid-period records (FEAR AND WHISKEY and THE MEKONS ROCK N' ROLL), and their very fine late-'90s/early 2000s Quarterstick albums. Politically committed, fiercely independent, and tireless makers of unique, rootsy, and energetic music, the Mekons are one of rock's great heroic bands. HEAVEN & HELL reminds us of this, and, in many ways, it's a perfect rock & roll document.

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