Whiskey of the Damned are a Wisconsin based Celtic-punk outfit fronted by Irishman Eoin McCarthy. Not sure how an Irish man could end up in Wisconsin other than getting lost on the way to Chicago but Eoin’s bio has it that he has a long musical history staring playing at 9 with his farther Irish singer Finbar McCarthy and even getting guitar lessons along the line from Van Morrison – no mention of being lost though.
Now the first thing that strikes me about the Monsters are Real album is the band photo on the back, the band are in make-up, horror punk Misfits meets Alice Cooper make up. I’m not sure if Whiskey of the Damned are starting a new genre Celtic-Horror-Punk or if the face paint is just a play on the album name. Kind of hoping that it’s for real (though poking around the web I only see live pictures sans the grease paint).
It took me a few spins to start getting into Monsters are Real, initially I heard fast Celtic punk that reminds me of Flogging Molly meeting Lexington Field – fast and trashy but with a fiddle that says more Mid-West then West Cork. Then after those initial spins I notice something I should have picked up on the first spin that being the sheer power and quality of McCarthy’s voice, boy can this guy sing – power, clarity and passion like you wouldn’t believe. I’ll go out on a limb and say McCarthy has the finest voice in Celtic-punk (and that includes Dave King), maybe Van the Moan threw in a few vocal lessons to boot. Of course a good voice won’t do it alone, the band are tight as f#*k, loud and fast and the songs first class and while still fast and trashy
A real monster of an album