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Old Devils

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Old Devils album cover
01
1234Ever
4:05
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02
Book of Your Life
3:29
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03
Getting Used to Uselessness
3:56
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04
Self Portrait
2:42
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05
Luxury
3:19
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06
Pieces of the Past
5:23
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07
Haunted
3:47
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08
Flag of Triumph
3:26
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09
Death Valley Day
3:48
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10
Old Devils
4:02
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11
Rivers of Ice
3:15
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12
Strange Ways to Win Wars
4:35
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Album Information

Total Tracks: 12   Total Length: 45:47

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Wondering Sound

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Melissa Maerz

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08.23.10
Examining the life of the middle-aged indie-dude, mercilessly and often hilariously
Label: Bloodshot Records

It's tough being an old curmudgeon in punk, which feels like a young curmudgeon's world. Jon Langford knows this, having spent the past three and a half decades fusing Cash-style country with Clash-style blitzkrieg in bands like Mekons and the Waco Brothers. And he's never been more honest about it than he is here. Teaming up with fellow Waco Brothers Alan Doughty (bass) and Joe Camarillo (drums), as well as finger-picking phenom Jim… read more »

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They Say All Music Guide

Class rage is something Jon Langford can practically do in his sleep by now; he’s been serving up smart, bitterly witty (or simply bitter) rants about the growing divide between the privileged and the powerless since the years before Thatcher and Reagan began unweaving our social safety nets. But who knows if he had any idea what the world would be like after eight years of George W. Bush? 2010′s Old Devils finds Jonboy sounding a lot more contemplative than usual, as if in the 21st Century he’s beginning to think civilization may have finally met its match. Langford doesn’t seem resigned on Old Devils, but it’s unusually subtle and thoughtful stuff from a man who often likes his music with the Waco Brothers or the Mekons to be full of force, and this album sure sounds like the work of a man less confident in the value of shouting than he was a few years ago. Working with a more diverse collection of musicians than he has in the Waco Brothers, Old Devils opens with what sounds like a trademark Langford rocker about an unsettled culture in which we “Live for next week, live for last year,” but the album’s rock moves are cleaner and considerably more spare than usual, and the dashed hopes of “Luxury,” “Haunted,” “Death Valley Days” and “Strange Ways To Win Wars” are matched with a more subtle musical attack. Strings and horns decorate a few of these songs, and the pirate’s tale of “Pieces of the Past” includes a recitation from Andre Williams, whose craggy voice gives the song just the right atmospheric tone. Langford isn’t rocking as hard on Old Devils, but it gives his vocals more room to move, and he’s rarely sung with as much strength and nuance as he does on these sessions. Jon Langford has never been anyone’s idea of an optimist, and in many respects the biggest difference on Old Devils is that with less noise, the full impact of his well-founded cynicism is felt; the intelligence of the production and arrangements makes this impact all the more telling, and in a time when the world is looking for missing bits of our socio-political puzzle, the details are all the more important. With this music, Langford wants to be sure we’re not missing anything — clearly, he’s not missing a trick here. – Mark Deming

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