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Mekons, ‘Ancient & Modern: 1911-2011’ (Sin)

As post-punk progenitors, art-collective outsiders, or alt-country trailblazers, the Mekons always have been ahead of the curve; even 1999’s Me anticipated our current era of sleazy Internet hookups. So their decision to harken back to the year 1911 on their 26th album dovetails nicely with the New Americana wave, though these veterans get grittier than any of those new jacks, whether it’s the title track’s salty sea shanty or the music-hall slink of the Sally Timms-sung “Geeshie.” For all the period-piece lethargy of “Warm Summer Sun” and ?”I Fall Asleep,” though, they balance it out with the blistering “Space in Your Face” and “Honey Bear.”