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KatJonBand, ‘KatJonBand’ (Carrot Top)

Teaming members of long-running groups with roots in ’70s political punk, KatJonBand is Chicago-based guitarist Jon Langford from Brit pub Marxists the Mekons and drummer Kat Bornefeld of abrasive Dutch anarchists the Ex. While the slashing energy of their roughed-up folk generates a buzz, the songs often feel underdone, sabotaged by short attention spans. Still, Kat and Jon’s scruffy voices can be seriously compelling: A whole album as strong as “Bad Apples,” which riffs on the Abu Ghraib torture scandal, and the sad, funny ballad “Hey You Don’t Love Me” would equal a masterpiece.

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Tags: Albums