20 March 2006

the mekons - "where were you?" (from the heaven & hell : the very best of the mekons lp, available for purchase here.)

much like the mekons' career, "where were you?" is all over the place lyrically. it's interrogative and incriminating; it seems to address a particular "you" and a morrissey-ish hypothetical "you"; one moment it's a missed connection ad, the next a bewildering w4m response.

the constant, aside from the beer-stained vocal tone, is the headlong lurch of the band. it moves forward inexorably, possessed of the knowledge that eludes the singer : all human relations will end in tears. the knowledge is slow to come, as evinced by the majestic build-up of the introduction, one of punk rock's most breathtaking moments, but acquiring that knowledge is what makes "where were you?" so thrilling.

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