Jon Langford & Skull Orchard: Old Devils

Jon Langford & Skull Orchard
Old Devils
Bloodshot
Rating: ★★★★☆
At this point Jon Langford – founding member of the Mekons, Waco Brothers and Pine Valley Cosmonauts and pioneer of “folk as punk, punk as folk”aesthetic – is essentially Americana’s cool uncle, sweeping through town once a year , regaling you with tales of far flung ports of and seedy characters. And like that cool uncle he’ll take jabs at your square parents’ suburban mediocrity and inarticulately presented, dearly held conservative values with a wit and vigor that would cause family friction if he weren’t a troubadour, an artist and a poet (and on his way to the next gig).Old Devils finds Langford and his frequent collaborators, Al Doughty, Joe Camarillo and Jim Elkington going what Langford does best – exploring the haggard landscape of post-modern, post-colonial Western culture while plowing through the best parts of rock, country and their off-shoots. At this point – after thirty odd years of creating art that is always uniquely satisfying – it’s easy to take Langford’s knack for a well crafted lyric and an effortless hook for granted, but tracks like “Getting Used to Uselessness,” “Luxury” and “A Strange Way to Win Wars” are great reminder of why you can’t wait for his yearly visit.