Fear and Whiskey is the fourth studio album by English rock band Mekons. It was released in 1985 and marked their return from a several-year hiatus. It is credited as being the first alternative country album, as it blends the band's previously-established punk rock style with a country music sound. The album was initially released by Sin Records to significant critical praise and commercial success. However, due to Sin's small capacity for production and distribution, the album then remained largely unavailable until it was rereleased in 2002 by Quarterstick Records, a subsidiary of Touch and Go Records.
The musical style represents a sharp break with the group's previous work, as fiddle, steel guitar, and harmonica are included, but the instrumentation of punk music is also present, particularly on the energetic "Hard to be Human Again". Tom Greenhalgh, one of the primary creative forces in the Mekons, commented that as he listened to a great deal of country music in the early 1980s and "pretty soon the difference between the three chords of country and the three chords of punk became blurred." The album closes with a cover of Leon Payne's "Lost Highway".
The album's lyrics