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5 Reviews
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Sadly underrated work of smart pub-rock and social comment, November 15, 1999
This review is from: Skull Orchard (Audio CD)
Though I didn't really expect much from this record (I find the Mekons and Waco Bros. records fun but erratic at times), this is a truly stunning album. A stirring blend of Keith Richards/Joe Strummer rock and possibly Richard Thompsonesque folk, *Skull Orchard* doesn't take itself too seriously yet finds Jon Langford singing and playing passionately about his native Wales. Driving hooks and riffs abound, but they are nicely offset with ruminative choruses and quieter acoustic numbers as well. This record at times sounds as if it poured out of Langford's soul, it can be that powerful of a listen.
There's excellent side-playing on it as well by John Rice on fiddle and Mark Durante on guitars. It really saddens me to think this record will never sell many copies. I don't get this excited about many records, please don't mistake this as a review done by a friend of the band or someone who regularly gives an album a "5" 'cause I dang sure ain't and don't. But if you have any interest in the Mekons, the Waco Brothers or well-made rock and roll that actually *says* something, this is simply a must-own.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Literate Roots Rock, February 8, 1999
By A Customer
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: Skull Orchard (Audio CD)
Langford rewinds the spool a long way from the Mekons' recent "Me" with this remarkable record. If you loved "Rock n Roll" [and if you didn't, what's wrong with you?] this will knock you over. It's a mixture of the Mekons and mid-period Springsteen, played by The Clash. Two amazing Moby Dick-inspired songs. I can't recommend this too highly.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars "We saw a better world just around the corner...", April 9, 2000
By 
Autonomeus (a world ruled by fossil fuels and fossil minds) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Skull Orchard (Audio CD)
Rarely have defeat and disillusionment been so effectively translated into art. Langford has perfected the pop craft first evident on MEKONS ROCK 'N' ROLL (1989). This is a concept album about the demise of the Welsh working class and the (temporary) demise of socialist dreams more generally. Langford rolls his Welsh "r"s with a vengeance, and sings metaphorically about whales and sailors and deep sea divers.

If there was any justice at all, "Trap Door," "I Am The Law" and "I'm Stopping This Train" would have been blaring from radios everywhere, and you'll be blasting the sound for these tracks, believe me. "Penny Arcades" also deserved to be a hit, and it's actually pretty, not angry -- a lovely song with biting lyrics. (Hey, if "Nowhere Man" could be a hit, why not?)

Everything Jon Langford had done up to this point was preparation for this brilliant album, my personal favorite from 1998. It's full of the kind of great songs he did for the Mekons' RETREAT FROM MEMPHIS (1994), another lost gem.

(verified purchase from Zia Records in Tucson)
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars the further (wonderful) escapades of jonboy, June 26, 1999
By A Customer
This review is from: Skull Orchard (Audio CD)
yet another magnificent album involving (this is his first solo effort) jon langford... it always has been hard to pin down exactly what it is that makes jon's music so expressive and wonderful... the melodies are amazing, the lyrics excellent... is it the chord progression in "penny arcades"? the chorus of "i'm stopping this train"? the vocals on "youghal?" at his best (which he nearly always is), there's nothing else like him. this album, especially the finale, "tom jones levitation," recalls the desperate sadness of the tremendous "fear and whiskey" and "edge of the world" albums. as said in "artforum," over 13 years ago, Jon and his mekons "are a reminder there are still people one might want to meet." If you don't know the mekons... go buy one of their many brilliant albums... fear and whiskey, included on original sin may be the best album of it's generation, or any in recent memory. however, the same could be said for edge of he world, mekons rock 'n roll or curse of the mekons...
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars great artist; great album, March 21, 2002
By A Customer
This review is from: Skull Orchard (Audio CD)
"Butter Song" kicks, as does the rest of this CD. 'Skull Orchard' is full of tight, satirical pop songs by a guy who's far more talented than any pop superstar.
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Skull Orchard
Skull Orchard by Jon Langford (Audio CD - 1998)
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