There is a demented genius to the The Templars of Doom. Raising from the ashes of Alternative Ulster, the Ulster county, New York, four piece play unapologetic raw PUNK rock overlaid with highland pipes. There is nothing subtle on Bring Me the Head of John the Baptist, it’s the musical equivalent of been hit with a caber. Check out the The Oliver Cromwell Twist if you don’t believe me. Not for everyone but I like it a lot.
Tracks on compilation albums are like friends. You can find good friends like Sir Reg, Greenland Whalefishers and The Go Set. There are friends you have lost touch with and need to reconnect with – The Porters, The Killigans and Kilkenny Knights. Friends that you need to get to know better – Mickey Rickshaw and Hoist the Colors and of course friends that you haven’t met until now. Raise Your Pints – Vol.2 is a very good compilation and if you want to know what is going on in the European scene the MacSlon is the man.
1 The Rogues from County Hell – MacSlon’s
2 The Cloves and the Tobacco – Too Much Trouble
3 Kilkenny Knights – Mick Watson
4 Irish Stew Of Sindidun – One Way Ticket
5 The Killigans – From The Underground
6 The Mullins – 9 To 5
7 The Go Set – Holdfast
8 The O’Reillys & The Paddyhats – Sign Of The Fighter
9 Billy Treacy – Temple Bar
10 Sir Reg – All Saints’ Day
11 Hoist The Colours – Mourners
12 Mickey Rickshaw – Nonprofit Warfare
13 Uncle Bard & The Dirty Bastards – I Only Got One Pint
14 Paddy and the Rats – Lonely Hearts’ Boulevard
15 BalticSeaChild – Fool In The Rain
16 Drink Hunters – Celtic Punks
17 Airs & Graces – 4 Corners
18 The Moorings – Drink Up Fast
19 The Porters – Son Of This Town
20 The Clan – Horns Up And Fight
21 Greenland Whalefishers – The Letter
Two Devils Will Talk is the ninth studio album from Caledonian-Canadian Celtic-punk creators, The Real McKenzies. Two Devils is a solid, workmanlike punk rock’n’bagpipes outing. Not the best thing our northern brethren have done but like I said solid. Highlights include the re-recording of their classic Scots Wha Ha’e, the cover of the Canadian folk standard Northwest Passage and the radio friendly Fuck The Real McKenzies.
The Templers Of Doom – The Oliver Cromwell Twist (Bring Me The Head Of John The Baptist)
The Radiators From Space – Television Screen (TV Tube Heart – 40th Anniversary Edition)
Hudson Falcons – Monahan’s (Desperation and Revolution)
The Skels – Pot to Piss In (Stoney Road)
The Bloody Irish Boys – Shake Hands With the Devil (Whiskey Devils: A Tribute to the Mahones)
Kilkenny Knights – Mick Watson (Various – Raise Your Pints Vol.2)
Sir Reg – All Saints Day (Various – Raise Your Pints Vol.2)
Black Anemone – Freedom and for all (In It For Life)
Craic – 20 Years Later (Sound of Vandermark)
Real McKenzies – Scots Wha Ha’e (Two Devils Will Talk)
Shite’n’Onions musical tribute to the legendary Celtic pugilists.
Flogging Molly – The Hand Of John L Sullivan
Dropkick Murphys – Blood and Whiskey
Dropkick Murphys – The Warrior’s Code
Neck – Come Out Fighting
Larkin Brigade – Planxty John L
The Peelers – Stand Down Cleary
BibleCodeSundays – Pittsburgh Kid
BibleCodeSundays – The Cinderella Man
Flogging Molly – Punch Drunk Grinning Soul
The Peelers – Going Down Swingin’ (ft. Finny McConnell)
The Mahones – The Hunger & The Fight
The Wakes – The Brave
The Mahones – Paint The Town Red
The Rumjacks – Les Darcy
Kilmaine Saints – Black & Blue Jig
The Canny Brothers Band – Donnelly
Wages of Sin – Queensbury Rules
Jackflash – Queensberry Rules
Life of Good is a very good album! Very much a return to roots by the Mollies after the more boundary pushing Speed of Darkness. The general consensus around the “interweb” is Life is Good is the best thing Flogging Molly have done since Within a Mile of Home or even Drunken Lullabies and I would very much agree – settled science. The young pretenders have been snapping at FMs heels for quite a while but Dave King and gang have stepped back into the ring to reclaim the Celtic-punk heavy weight title. So without a track-by-track, blow-by-blow review here are the highlights.
The Hand Of John L. Sullivan that punches as hard as the great man himself.
Welcome To Adamstown, with it’s ska/horn dance-ability. I actually grew-up not too far from Adamstown and went to school right beside it. There was nothing there when I was in school a lifetime a go, just fields and a country house. In the late 1990s/2000s there was a massive property boom in Ireland – developers built thousands of houses in west Dublin yet no real infrastructure was put in (shops, schools, churches – yep you atheists) then the whole thing went bust leaving unfinished streets and negative equity, unemployment and bank foreclosures. Now there are hundreds of houses but still noting there. Welcome To Adamstown gets the story right.
The Last Serenade (Sailors And Fisherman), reminiscent at times of the magnificent the son never shines on closed doors.
Flogging Molly are truly back and life is great.
There’s Nothing Left Pt. 1
The Hand Of John L. Sullivan
Welcome To Adamstown
Reptiles (We Woke Up)
The Day’s We’ve Yet To Meet
Life Is Good
The Last Serenade (Sailors And Fisherman)
The Guns Of Jericho
Crushed (Hostile Nations)
The Bride Wore Black
Until We Meet Again
While SLF are currently taking their brand of shell-shock-rock through the halls of the UK, Europe and North America to celebrate 40 years of existence, Best Served Loud, the legendary Belfast band’s latest offering is a double live album (on CD and DVD as well) that commemorates their 25th year headlining Glasgow’s legendary Barrowland Ballroom on St. Patrick’s Day – now if you’re thinking Glasgow/Scotland and Paddy’s day is weird then you don’t know Glasgow and the Barrowland – the ultimate place to be on the day.
Feeding off the energy of the best audience in the world, SLF have clearly not lost a drop of energy as the band enters middle age, showcasing material from career influencing (other bands careers**) Inflammable Material through more recent ‘classics” such as Guitar and Drum and Strummerville. Best Served Loud captures the authentic raw energy of SLF live – a fact I can testify as being the real McMordie having seen them live three times in the last few years with tickets acquired for a fourth.
1 Go For It
2 Wasted Life
3 Just Fade Away
4 Roots, Radicals, Rockers And Reggae
5 Guitar & Drum
6 Nobody’s Hero
7 Back To Front
8 Barbed Wire Love
10 Doesn’t Make It Alright
11 Silver Lining
12 Guilty As Sin
13 At The Edge
15 My Dark Places
16 Fly The Flag
17 When We Were Young
18 Tin Soldiers
19 Suspect Device
20 Gotta Getaway
21 Alternative Ulster
It’s been a few years since we’ve heard anything new from former Pogue Jamie Clarke (guitar on the much underrated Pogue Mahone). Hell Hath No Fury follows in the Folk-a-billy direction of 2011’s Beat Boys – part Pogues, part Rock-a-billy, party outlaw country in a spaghetti western kind of way. The cover of La Bamba is a must hear. A real solid album.
In 2004 The Peelers album Liquordale was Shite’n’Onions album of the year – always a good launching point for fame and fortune in the Celtic-punk genre. Then……… nothing………nothing for 13 years!!! Now we have have the follow-up, ‘Palace of the Fiend’. Thirteen tracks in all. That’s one for for every year since Liquordale.
So where have the Peelers been? New York, The Bronx and Afghanistan. San Diego, Harlem, Dublin and on to the Spanish Coast. Down south, up north. From St. Johns to Boston and back to Ballingarry.
What have they being doing? Fighting at Vinegar Hill and with General Meagher, pub crawling to Baltimore. Brawling with the Westies and hanging St. Michael. Sailing with St. Brendan. Drinking Guinness, snorting…., getting clean and sober, falling again. Fighting the Devil, fighting the final round, finding redemption.
And is ‘Palace of the Fiend’ any good? Fuck yeah. Double fuck yeah. This is Celtic-punk at it’s very, very best, fast, powerful, raw, the poetry of those who have really lived – part Pogues, part Mahones and part Behan. I know it’s only May but I’m prepared to call ‘Palace of the Fiend’ album of the year for 2017. See yah in 2030 lads.