“The Quality Of Mercy Is Not Strnen” by The Mekons - album review

TJR says

“The quality of mercy is not strain’d” is a quote from Act 4, Scene 1 of Shakespeare’s play The Merchant of Venice. According to the front cover, this album is titled “The Quality Of Mercy Is Not Strnen”. However, the albums labels title the record “The Quality Of Mercy Is Not Strained”. Presumably, the monkey mis-typed. This is some sort of statement on the infinite monkey theorem which states that “a monkey hitting keys at random on a typewriter keyboard for an infinite amount of time will almost surely type any given text, such as the complete works of William Shakespeare.” The point of this almost infinitely impossible chance, and therefore the point of this “statement” by the Mekons seems to be some sort of self deprecating humour based on their musical primitivism.

With two Peel sessions and the superb “Where Were You?” single behind them, there was a certain degree of expectancy for the debut full length from the 3-year-old Leeds group, making progress alongside their mates Gang Of Four, whose instruments were famously borrowed to complete the recording sessions for this LP! They're cut from the same cloth too, perhaps a looser, rawer version of Gang of Four, decidedly left wing politically and plying their musical trade in an abrasive Post-Punk landscape being favoured by Delta 5 and Public Image Ltd, where attitude and spirit rule over technicalities. Six of them are at the heart of the record: Andy Carrigan (vocals), Mark White (vocals), Kevin Lycett (guitar), Tom Greenhalgh (guitar), Ross Allen (bass) and Jon Langford (drums). Pretty good all the way even if it lacks an obvious “hit”.

The Jukebox Rebel
04-Sep-2016

A1 [02:05] 5.9.png The Mekons - Like Spoons No More (Jon Langford, Kevin Lycett, Mark White, Andy Corrigan, Tom Greenhalgh) Punk
A2 [02:05] 5.8.png The Mekons - Join Us In The Countryside (Jon Langford, Kevin Lycett, Mark White, Andy Corrigan, Tom Greenhalgh) Punk
A3 [02:34] 5.4.png The Mekons - Rosanne (Jon Langford, Kevin Lycett, Mark White, Andy Corrigan, Tom Greenhalgh) Post-Punk
A4 [04:05] 6.2.png The Mekons - Trevira Trousers (Jon Langford, Kevin Lycett, Mark White, Andy Corrigan, Tom Greenhalgh) Punk
A5 [04:53] 6.8.png The Mekons - After 6 (Jon Langford, Kevin Lycett, Mark White, Andy Corrigan, Tom Greenhalgh) Indie
A6 [01:48] 6.4.png The Mekons - What Are We Going To Do Tonight (Jon Langford, Kevin Lycett, Mark White, Andy Corrigan, Tom Greenhalgh) Punk
B1 [02:08] 7.2.png The Mekons - What (Jon Langford, Kevin Lycett, Mark White, Andy Corrigan, Tom Greenhalgh) Indie
B2 [03:18] 6.6.png The Mekons - Watch The Film (Jon Langford, Kevin Lycett, Mark White, Andy Corrigan, Tom Greenhalgh) Post-Punk
B3 [04:12] 6.5.png The Mekons - Beetroot (Jon Langford, Kevin Lycett, Mark White, Andy Corrigan, Tom Greenhalgh) Post-Punk
B4 [02:17] 5.8.png The Mekons - I Saw You Dance (Jon Langford, Kevin Lycett, Mark White, Andy Corrigan, Tom Greenhalgh) Post-Punk
B5 [05:03] 5.5.png The Mekons - Lonely And Wet (Jon Langford, Kevin Lycett, Mark White, Andy Corrigan, Tom Greenhalgh) Moodcore
B6 [02:32] 6.1.png The Mekons - Dan Dare (Jon Langford, Kevin Lycett, Mark White, Andy Corrigan, Tom Greenhalgh) Punk




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