The Led Farmers are a new band to me, though the Switzerland based, Irish born band are onto their second album with Katie. Katie is everything Celtic-rock should be – high energy, great musicians who are tight as the proverbial duck’s arse. Think of a modern day Clancy Brothers meets The Great Big Sea.
…and now for the bit that may get me into trouble……The Led Farmers come across as just a wee bit manufactured – it may be just the boy band style picture on the cover of Katie or I’m just cynical to the whole made for the American market of Riverdance and Celtic Woman stuff. Hoping to be proved wrong and a cynic.
25 Years of Irish Punk celebrates, well, 25 Years of Irish Punk from our favorite Canadian hooligans, The Mahones. Whats cool about 25 years is its not just a collection of loved Mahones classics remastered but actually re-recorded by the current line up (including Mr. Scruffy Wallace). The whole album has a great consistency and a live in the studio feel – except Wild Rover which is live-live. 25 years also includes great covers of The Undertones (Teenage Kicks) , Stiff Little Fingers (Alternative Ulster) and Rancid (Last One to Die). Available online and in stores internationally via The Whiskey Devil Collective (Canada), eOne (Canada), Sailor’s Grave Records (USA) and Wolverine Records (Germany).
Sleeping Rough is the latest and greatest album from Sydney boot-boys The Rumjacks. Following quickly on the heals of 2015’s Sober & Godless we get another shot of pure Celtic-punk. Like Sober & Godless, Sleeping Rough with the exception of the single ‘A Fistful O’ Roses’ has noting immediately that grabs your attention like say ‘Uncle Tommy’ or ‘Irish Pub Song’ on the bands debut Gangs of New Holland but like Sober & Godless if you invest the listening time you will be duly rewarded with another classic. I want also to give a shout out to Frankie McLaughlin’s lyrics, he continues to be one of the finest wordsmiths on the scene combining a gritty realism à la MacGowan with the tough-guy romanticism of Lynott. In short, a very fine album that continues to get better with every listen.
The Whistle Before the Snap is the long awaited and much delayed album by Boston’s greatest Folk’n’Irish band The Gobshites. Now, while some bands claim to be influenced by the Ramones, some bands wear Ramones shirts, some bands even sing about the Ramones, well The Gobshites manage to have a Ramone (Ritchie) sit in on drums for the whole album. The Gobshites are famous for taking old punk rock standards and giving ’em the Irish treatment so of course we have Somebody Put Something in My Drink given The Gobshites once over as well as Mojo Nixon‘s ode to Shane’s Dentist. But unlike before everything else is original (though if you want split hairs four of the songs were originally recorded by head Gobshite Pete Walsh’s punk band Meat Depressed – written with the Gobshites in mind I’m assured). How does it sound? Great! slightly chaotic, tipsy to sloshed, pub-punk sing along’s with off color self effacing humor…….and oh yeah even a touch of maturity on a couple or three tracks (That’s why I drink, Hidden Meaning & No Fairy Tale)
The Evil of Drink
My Drinkin’ Ain’t Done is fast’n’rowdy Celtic punk meets Gypsy from the Netherlands. Low, growling lead vocals, all the bhoys on the piss gang vocals, accordion, banjo, mandolin and dirty sleaze-rock guitars with a Bastard attitude. Reminiscent and obviously influenced by the Dropkick Murphys, Blood or Whiskey and the Dubliners and for spice the junkyard sounds of Tom Waits and early Dolomites and The Zydepunks. A strong debut from a band with a great promise.
Feather and Flame is the third full length from Headsticks who have arisen phoenix like from the ashes of Jugopunch and the Clay Faces. Best described as English with a just touch of Americana and some Irish blood in the ol’ veins folk-ROCK – reminiscent of The Clash – the attitude – but more Joe Strummer & The Mescaleros in style. NMA, The Levellers or an amped up Billy Bragg also come to mind.
In all while not an immediate album if you invest the time it will pay off ten fold i.e. its bloody good after a few spins.
What do you want – part revolution, part Rovers Return
Go move shift – The old Christy Moore classic
Every single day – pure punk’n’roll
Modern Day Disgrace is the fourth full length from Swedish (and Dub fronted) Celtic-punks Sir Reg. Sir Reg are one of the leaders of the new wave of Celtic-punk and are very much snapping at the heals of the original scenesters (that’s you Flogging Molly). No surprises on Modern Day Disgrace when compared to the bands previous albums – and that’s a good thing – head banging speed Celtic punk with a strong Flogging Molly influence. The album kicks off with three new classics End of the Line, Boys of St. Pauli and Drinking Like a Dane and continues through till they Call it a Day. Special mention to Dubliners influenced “The Wrong Bar” – Luke and Ronnie would be proud of yea lads and the afore mentioned Boys of St. Pauli which will be ripping up jigpits from Stockholm to Solna and Södertälje shortly. Highly recommended.
End of the Line
Boys of St. Pauli
Drinking Like a Dane
All Saint’s Day
The Wrong Bar
Will not Let You Cry
Breaking Down All Borders
Call it a Day
Bodh’aktan is the self titled fourth full length album from Quebec based French-Canadian’s Bodh’aktan. Now if you haven’t heard Bodh’aktan before they play big ‘ol bagpipes punk’n’roll influenced by both the maritime and Celtic traditions and they do it all Francais…..and why not. Kind of like legendary French punk/metal outfit TRUST on a weekend bender in Connemara. Check’em out.
And now for something completely different – kind of. Some of you may remember Black Friday a Celtic punk outfit outta Cornwall (Got to Go is a must hear) well Tom O’Reilly & The Swaggers is four members of Black Friday donning cowboy boots and swapping Poitín for moonshine. The Swaggers perform laid back alternative country interspaced with traditional and Cornish folk and they do it very well. Reminiscent of Dublin’s Great Western Squares. Impressive.
Making a mix tape or a comp CD is almost a lost art. Happy to say the art isn’t lost on Nico of MacSlons Irish Pub Radio. An amazing nineteen tracks in all and like all great comps it comes with old friends and a few friends you haven’t met before. Old friends include Kilkenny Knights, Flatfoot 56, The Real McKenzies and The Rumjacks. New friends include The Black Tartan Clan, Rovers Ahead and 1916. Check it out, you’ll too find some new friends.
01. Kilkenny Knights – Raise your Pints
02. Rovers Ahead – Ghost Of Anne Reily
03. The Clan – Paddys Day
04. The O`Reilys & The Paddyhats – Barrels of Whiskey
05. The Black Tartan Clan – Standing Strong
06. Scordisci – Birdies Song
07. Airs & Graces – Troubles
08. The Ramshackle Army – The Fire is burning
09. The Real McKenzies – Catch me
10. Flatfoot 56 – Take Hold again
11. The Ceili Family – Alive
12. The Roughneck Riot – Parasites
13. The Rumjacks – No Pockets in a Shroud
14. Mr. Irish Bastard – Kingdom of the Sun
15. Creeds Cross – The Irish Band
16. In Search of a Rose – If You Got A Pint
17. Smokey Bastard – Archipelago
18. 1916 – For Whiskey
19. Bastards – Drink the City