(Courtesy of Bloodshot Records)

A thorny mix of antiquey folk, squalling punk and Weimar-era cabaret, “Ancient and Modern” concerns itself more with the ancient than with the modern. “Geeshie” has its origins in a song by Geeshie Wiley, a female blues singer from the 1930s; the bumptious “Space in Your Face” is either a love song or a song about radicals or a love song about radicals; “Ugly Bethesda” doesn’t have much to do with Bethesda, though its key passage (“In the middle of life / We are in death”) sums up the album, and three decades of Mekons, rather nicely.

Mekons are scheduled to perform at Iota on October 6.