Long-running punk/folk collective the Mekons recorded their latest on the outskirts of Joshua Tree National Park, and the vast openness of the geography there is clearly reflected throughout Deserted.
The record plays like a soundtrack to emptiness and openness. From the somber questioning on a song like “How Many Stars” or the almost hymn-like reverence on “In the Desert” to some of the more raucous songs like “Mirage,” many of the distractions of modern life are simply, thankfully missing from this record.
They manage to harshness the bleakness of the terrain using it as inspiration for this record, reflected both lyrically and sonically throughout most of the album. The two exceptions being the strongest and most optimistic tracks on the album, the almost gleeful, violin-driven “Andromeda” and the closing number “After the Rain.”
For four decades, the Mekons have been putting out complex, inspired punk rock that over time has added more and more elements of folk to their sound. The music is not always the most accessible or trendy but has never failed to find an audience that adores it. Deserted should be no different.