I’ve been anticipating The Rumjacks debut full length for a wee while now – since the release of their last EP to be exact. The Rumjacks had set themselves a very high standard on their two EPs and were been loudly touted and not just by me as the future of Celtic punk. That high bar along with the loss of accordion player, songwriter and occasional Shite’n’Onions scribe, Will Swan had made me a tad nervous! I’m very glad to report that Gangs of New Holland is a very, very strong release and The Rumjacks firmly hold the ground between Flogging Molly and Dropkick Murphys and the Aussie twist to the excellently written lyrics give them their own identity that is rich in the image of Ned Kelly and The Eureka Stockade and imagery of Ali Hulett. The music if you haven’t heard ’em is like Shane MacGowan drinking with the boys from Rose Tattoo at a Clash gig in one of those infamous Aussie music halls where the bands have to play behind chicken wire to protect ’em from flying bottles and glasses.
14 great tracks in all and if I was to pick a few to highlight it would be:
Uncle Tommy – with it’s Flogging Molly-ish banjo intro leading to a full out moshpit floor invasion – Uncle Tommy BTW was a hell raising, rambling man.
McAlpines Fusiliers – done in the traditional ballad style with Frankie McLaughlin’s vocals rich in the authenticity of someone who knows how to sweat to make a living.
An Irish Pub song – a rowdy drinking, come brawling tune.
Green Ginger Wine – A boozie girl/guy duet in the vain of Fairytale, Living in America and Dirty Glass
Spit In The Street – “and all the posh kids roll to the soulless drivel of their pissy little mp3s “, nuff said.
I could go on but I won’t. Check it out!