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.
The Top 5:
#1 The Peelers: Palace of the Fiend
Called this on back in May. Still holds true.
#2 Flogging Molly: Life is Good
A fine return to form best FM album since the last Peelers album.
#3 Bill Grogan’s Goat: Third Eye
#4 The Trouble Pilgrims: Dark Shadows and Rust
#5 The Tossers: Smash The Windows
The Best of the Rest (in no particular order):
The Kilmaine Saints: Whiskey Blues and Faded Tattoos
Black Anemone: In It For Life
Craic: Sounds of Vandemark
Jamie Clarke’s Perfect: Hell Hath No Fury
The Templars of Doom: Bring Me the Head of John the Baptist
Best 40 year old punk album released in 2017
The Radiators From Space: TV Tube Heart
The Best Horslips Tribute released in 2017
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.
Third Eye is the third full length release from Detroit Celtic rockers Bill Grogan’s Goat. The Goat are easily one of the most original bands in the whole Celtic-rock universe. Celtic meets primal Detroit rock’n’roll, and a few other influences just for good measure. Here is a blow-by-blow of the best of this very fine album.
“3rd I” is a short intro track giving off a Pink Floyd space rock vibe that merges into “The Newry Highwayman”, with its laid back but loud guitar sound. The guitars crank up further on the (almost) symphonic Celtic-metal instrumental, “Andro des Morts”. “The Burning of Cork” continues the vibe of “The Newry Highwayman” of laid back, big guitars and traditional melodies.
“Knockdhu Set” is pure Horslips ala “King of the Fairies”. Robbie Burns’ “Ye Jacobites By Name” builds from a gentle introduction into a full Celtic rock symphony. But just in case you have been suckered in to the progressive state of mind, “Paddy’s Dead” is Detroit primal punk that will slap you back into reality.
“Mary Mac” is straight ahead Celtic-rock with a funky undercurrent, while the Scottish standard “Wild Mountain Thyme” merges Celtic melodies and Americana. “The Devil’s Trumpet” is a Celtic jam in the style of Enter the Haggis at their finest. “The Blacksmith” is a traditional song of the South of England, though most folk would know this song through Planxty’s version – the Goat version gives the track a Johnny Cash twist at his hurting best.
In all a very fine, well crafted album from one of the most original bands on the scene.
There is an unbelievable 17 tracks on Whiskey Blues and Faded Tattoos, the latest album from the central Pennsylvania based Kilmaine Saints. Yah know what most bands call 17 tracks? Two albums, and what is really amazing here is there isn’t a single filler. I’ve been impressed by the last two Saint’s albums and they have always raked the band as one to watch. On Whiskey Blues and Faded Tattoos, the six piece play a blinder and produce not just quantity but quality. The bands sticks to their core “explosive” bagpipes and punk rock while at the same time is able to incorporate more traditional sounds such as the Scottish No Awa Tae Bide Awa and the haunting Golden Pen (then again 17 tacks gives you that luxury). A album to own from a band that have broken away from the pack to join the big boys.
One Fine Day is depending on your knowledge of The Go Set either a well timed best of / live collection or a “Hello America” release. The album is out to support the band’s upcoming short US tour (both a physical and digital release). Long time Shite’n’Onions readers will be well familiar with The Go Set. If you don’t know ’em, they are a long running Aussie folk-punk outfit – part Pogues, part Clash, part Weddings, Parties, Anything and just a wee bit AC/DC (Long Way To The Top), Easily one of the best band on the whole scene with a string of first class albums under their belts and up their kilts. One Fine Day is a great introduction to the band and if you get a chance catch ‘em live.
US TOUR 2017
9/22 O’Brien’s Pub Boston, MA
9/23 Thirsty Turtle Nashua, NH
9/24 MillBottom Event ctr. Jefferson City, MO
9/26 Soaring Wings Vineyard Springfield, NE
9/27 Maggie O’briens St Lousi, MO
9/28 The Holding Company San Diego, CA
9/29 Get Shamrocked Festival Murrieta, CA
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.