Walk Like Kings the 4th full length original album from London-Irish band BibleCode Sundays is a highly polished affair and continues to prove that the BibleCodes are one of the most talented bands on the Celtic-rock planet. Ronan MacManus is an exceptionally talented singer and the rest of the band are no slouches either. While Walk Like Kings is more mellow and more mainstream friendly then the bands early albums they don’t lose that edge that made the band so attractive before. Walk Like Kings sees the band being joined by friends and family including the amazing Lorraine O’Reilly who duets with Russell Crowe (yeah him of Gladiator fame – he’s been a friend since hearing the BCSs tribute to Jim Braddock, The Cinderella Man). Brooklyn rappers Da Ded Rabbidz join the band on ‘Stand Up and Fight’.
Stand out tracks include the ska infused ‘Disorganized Crime’ (with help from members of The Specials and Bad Manners and ex London gangsters Noel ‘Razor’ Smith and Vincent Bradish for true criminal authenticity) and ‘Willie Redmond’s Volunteers’ a song Ronan pieced together from lyrics written by his late father Ross MacManus and featuring guest appearances by all of Ronan’s brothers including an up and coming young Declan MacManus who goes under the stage name of Elvis Costello (he may need to change that name before anyone takes him seriously though).
Pog Mo Thoin is the second full length from Ulster county New York’s Alternative Ulster. Pog Mo Thoin is hard as hell. Reminiscent of NYHC meets lo-fi proto-punk at its rawest colliding with the pipes and drums of the NYPD Emerald Society. There are no frills or niceties on Pog Mo Thoin – this is probably the sound Sir Henry de Bohun heard when Robert the Bruce split his head in two with a battle-axe at Bannockburn – skull crushing and wailing bagpipes. Though Alternative Ulster in fairness are not just kilt wearing brutes they do have a #metoo moment and share it on the sensitive “Self Appointed Kilt Inspector”.
The Bottlers 3 track EP is Sydney based acoustic folk-punks first official release. It also my first opportunity to hear the 9 piece. Good ol fashioned Celtic / folk punk in the vein of The Pogues meets The Rumjack. I’m highly impressed and looking forward to more. I know I’ve said this before but I’ve never heard a bad Aussie band and that streak continues with The Bottlers – must be something they put in the grog down under. Oh, and the beards would do Ned Kelly proud – good on ya mate.
As I was starting the review of Red, I pulled up the Dog’s web site and on it there is a really great description of the band – English working class Celtic-folk punk, The Levellers meets Billy Bragg meets The Pogues. As authentic as feck – I read it and though to myself that really nails what Ferocious Dog are all about (and the author is obviously a genius and probably very handsome too) – then I notice the quote was from Shite’n’Onions – I was right on all counts. Red is the third full-length from Ferocious Dog and it certainly does not disappoint, high energy fiddle led Celtic-punk in a similar vein to the band’s previous two releases – Ferocious Dog and From Without – so if you love those albums you’ll love Red.
Honestly, I’m pretty convinced that the Ferocious Dog are going to break real big…….at least in the UK where they are building a massive fan base and have the distinction of being the first unsigned act to sell out the legendary Rock City venue.
Sounds Of Vandemark, the second full length from Cleveland based Celtic-punks Craic was released late last year and in fact made the Shite’n’Onions best of 2017 list – we’re finally catching up now on reviews in 2018. Sounds Of Vandemark is no frills, rough and rowdy and very authentically blue collar Celtic-punk. Craic straddle the middle ground between The Tossers and Dropkick Murphys. Craic’s ode to their hometown, Cleveland, is an absolute classic. Former Dropkick Murphy Ryan Foltz produces.
Black Anemon are a new band to me but the Swedish nine piece have been together since 2010 and In It For Life is their third full length. In It For Life is eight tracks of infectious, high-energy folk punk with influences from The Mahones, Flogging Molly and fellow Swedish heroes Sir Reg. In short, a very enjoyable album that I will be listening to many more times in the future and wanting to hear more from the band – lads send on you previous two albums when you get a chance – SnO, PO Box 30, Arlington, MA 02476, USA
Formally the legendary Irish punk band The Radiators From Space (see the following review). The Rads morphed into The Trouble Pilgrims after the death of one of the RFS founding members (and Pogue) Philip Chevron. The surviving band wanted to continue but didn’t feel right going forward as The Radiators from Space without Philip. Taking the tile of the Radiators magnificent third album Trouble Pilgrim the Pilgrims became Ireland’s best new band. Trouble Pilgrims play raw and dirty rock’n’roll showcasing influences from the first wave of rock’n’roll onto sixties bubblegum and onward to the proto-punk of the Velvet Underground to seventies glam and the early NYC punk sounds then kicking and screaming through 1977 into 2017. A mighty fine album indeed.
Ireland’s original punk band. Sometimes relegated to the footnotes of Irish rock history as Philip Chevron’s (The Pogues) punk band or even the band that inspired U2 to give it a go. The Radiators have the distinction of being the first punk band to have a top 20 hit single anywhere in the world – Television Screen in April 1977. A slightly delayed debut album TV Tube Heart showed up later in ‘77. Forty years later Chiswick Records has re-released TV Tube Heart in all it’s punk rock glory along with an additional 20 bonus tracks. If you are not familiar with the original TV Tube heart it’s a very fine punk album comparable to the best of the 77’ class. Television Screen is teenage frustration and primal rock’n’roll, Enemies an absolute classic and the album as a whole has stood the test of time very well. The bonus track are wide and varied including a 2017 live in the studio re-recording of the album, previously unreleased live tracks from 1977 and the obligatory single versions. Still the greatest band to come out of north Dublin.
Released much earlier this year, 11 Short Stories just seemed to disappear from conscious. Unfortunately while it’s a solid enough album with some highlights such as Blood, Sandlot, Had A Hat and 4-15-13 there is no knockout tracks and if I’m going to spin some Murphy’s this isn’t the album I find myself reaching for.