Reviews – 2005

The Bloody Irish Boys: Drunk Rock

BIB are a “band” that managed to cause a lot of controversy and piss off more then a few people on the strength of the track “Drunk Tonight” that they circulated as a mp3 prior to releasing “Drunk Rock” – the big piss off factor was that it was maybe just a little to close to Flogging Molly’s “Swagger” to be a coincidence. Now while the rest of the CD is still hugely influenced by Flogging Molly and SoCal punk (“My Wicked Ways” is a little to close to something of the Mike Ness solo CD whose title escapes me) there is nothing else that can be stamped with the rip-off accusation, and in fact everything is highly listenable (even if the traditional instruments are electronic studio creations) and top quality. So let’s give the guy (BIB are basically a one man show) a break and some encouragement and support and remember nobody in this scene is truly original and even the mighty Flogging Molly have been accused of lifting from others – remember “Another bag of Bricks” and the riff from “Swagger” itself sounds like it was lifted from Slade.

McDermotts 2 Hours: Live at Ferneham Hall

While the D.I.Y.-ish cover of Live a Ferneham Hall give the appearance of a bootleg there is nothing bootleg or D.I.Y.-ish about either the music or production on this superb live CD (recorded in March ’05) from one of the most influential Celtic-folk-rock bands of the 80’s (ask The Levellers). If your unfamiliar with past works of this Brighton, England based Anglo-Irish quintet then think Bragg, Moore (Christy of course), Strummer and of course MacGowan and the Pogues and not as mere imitators but as peers.

Darkbuster: A Weakness for Spirits

Darkbuster are the kings of Boston street punk, period.

18 songs, clocking in around 30 mins. Darkbuster are fast, catchy and loud with a wicked sense of humor. Influences on a Weakness….. include Stiff Little Fingers, Bouncing Souls and The Clash along with old school Boston hardcore (and Thin Lizzy – the lyrics to the Ska tinged “Rudy” are a little to close to Lizzy’s “Jailbreak” to be a coincidence.)

Dropkick Murphys: Warrior’s Code

Sing Loud Sing Proud part deux…

Warrior’s Code represents the next step in the evolution of Dropkick Murphys from a pure punk oriented outfit to a more refined, mature band. They’ve found their niche and are sticking to it.

That said, the Murphys don’t totally abandon their roots and have created a sound like previous releases and good on ’em for that. Songs such as “Your Spirit’s Alive”, “Warrior’s Code”, “Take It And Run” and “The Walking Dead” are classic Dropkick Murphys while songs like “The Green Fields of France” show a nice evolution of their skills. Tunes like “The Auld Triangle” is a good mixture of new and old.

Still, a lot of their songs are reminicient of earlier offerings and that will not disappoint fans while recalling days past. All in all, the Murphys continue to deliver an energetic, enjoyable outing and it’s worth the money on this latest offering too.

Their live shows are worth attending as Ken Casey and crew continue to deliver the goods and you could do a lot worse than attend a live Dropkick Murphys show. I would recommend seeing them at a club or hall rather than a venue like an outdoor festival however. The sound and energy are better and you get the chance to join them on stage at the end of the night!

In summation, “Warrior’s Code” is a good Dropkick Murphys release that shouldn’t disappoint fans but won’t garner any new ones that don’t like them already.

Review By: TheBlackStuff

Mutiny: Rum Rebellion

I’m pretty sure the majority of S’n’O readers understand that folk music (No matter what ethnicity) can tell us about the tales of the past in ways history books never could. Folk music speaks of the truth, and when I want to find out about the daily life of a paticular place, I’m not going to reach for some bland travel guide from AAA, I’m going to be looking for some folk music from that paticular area of interest. I’ve always been interested in the history of Australia. Maybe it has something to do with the convict way of life, or maybe it’s something nautical, or maybe a combination of both. Whatever the case may be, I’ll always reach out for the folk music first. I have learned alot from Aussie bands such as: Roaring Jack, Weddings Parties Anything, and the random traditional numbers. Now there’s another band I need to add to the list: Mutiny.

Mutiny has been around since the early Nineties, and have been around the dock more than a few times. As you may or not know, the album “Rum Rebellion” is not exactly brand new. It was originally released back in 1997, and lucky for us, a label in Pennsylvania, (Fistolo Records) re-released the next-to-impossible album earlier this year. In my humble opinion, “Rum Rebellion” is not another Celt-Punk album at all…Sure there’s hints here and there, but It’s more of a combination of: Aussie folk, Sydney streetpunk, pirate punk-inspired sea shanties, and whatnot. Think of Mutiny as the music of yesteryear, & the lyrics as the lastest news of today. Oh yeah, I know it’s only May, but at this point “Rum Rebellion” just might be my favorite record released this year. (Do re-releases count?)

The band, Mutiny, are one of my all-time favorites!

Review By: Brian “Shelia” Gillespie

Junkman’s Choir: Junk Rock-EP

If you ever showed up early to a few Pogues gigs in 1986 at the Hamersmith in London, you probably heard the opening band, Nyah Fearties. If you didn’t blow your cash on pints in the pub you may have picked up their latest album at the time, A Tasty Heidfu’. A two man band of brothers from a tiny village in North Ayrshire, Scotland, Nyah Fearties were known around the streets of London, as a busking, acoustic, punk-thrash band that used various objects they found nearby as the “percussion”. Influenced by punk, reggae, rockabilly, and country, they developed a unique sound that spat a gob of folk-punk inspired flem into the faces of the synth-pop wankers, and kicked the new romantics of the day in the nuts with a steel-toed boot soiled with Ayrshire sod. After years of touring together as a two-peice they eventually found themselves involved in various projects such as :”Dub Skelper” or “Mr. Luggs”.

Today, they have a new band, somewhat similar to their old Fearties sound, Junkman’s Choir are now a four-peice, and sound more original than ever. “Junk Rock” is their third effort and contains four tracks of acoustic flavored mayhem that will have you begging for more.The first song, “Hey Joe!” is an ode to Mr. Strummer. The song contains various Clash/Strummer melodies brought to you in the Junkman style. Another standout is the traditional track “The Cuckoo”. Honestly, I’ve heard everyone from Doc Watson, to Bob Dylan cover this song, and I must say, the Junkman version quite possibly might be my favorite! Great accordian! The other two songs are: “Evangeline” & “Raven’s Yard”.

So, it seems as if the lads are quite busy again. A new website is in the works. * they have some upcoming gigs in the London area, and I’ll bet you they probably have another album in the works. I don’t know about you, but I’ve got some catching up to do. In one way or another, these guys have released about 17 albums, and all I have to show for it is this four track ep, and an old, sticky, Nyah Fearties cassette covered in Irn Bru.

Review By: “Beer Busking” Brian Gillespie

Perfect: $$ Live Free $$

Live CD’s can be either hit or miss in my book as they rarely capture the true energy of a bands live performance – with both the recent live CDs from the Dropkick Murphys and Shane MacGowans Popes veering towards miss in this humble scribes opinion. Not having seen Jamie Clarkes Perfect live I can’t say if $$ Live Free $$ has captured their authentic live energy but based on this CD a Perfect gig is one powerfully performance; high energy and tight as hell with a lot of Pogues covers – 7 out of 18 songs, often instrumentals, but I guess those are the songs that get the punters in the door and paying asses on the seats and being a 3 piece of just guitars, drums and accordion there is a different twist.

Blaggards: Standards

Don’t know too much about The Blaggards except they are from Houston, Texas and are fronted by Irish Man, Patrick Devlin. Standards is a collection of well, standards, you know, the stuff made famous by The Clancy Brothers, The Dubliners, Johnny Cash (an honorary Irish man) – who’s “Folsom Prison Blues” becomes “Fields of Athenry” as “Prison Love Songs” – and Elvis (I kid you not, “Suspicious Minds” is given the Celtic kick up the ass). The music is high-energy Celtic rock that will be on heavy rotation at my next Paddy’s day party (especially “Suspicious Minds”)

Icewagon Flu: Mr. Norman EP

Mr. Norman is 4 new tracks (plus a radio edit of the title track) of quirky, roots’n’roll. Think of The Rolling Stones and The Beach Boys crossed with Hothouse Flowers and Revenge of the Nerds. Mitch Easter of REM fame mixes so yeah it’s top shelf stuff.

The Steam Pig: Ugly Bastard Everything

The Steam Pig continue their vicious audio assault against all those they despise (and mankind in general) with their 4th release. “Ugly Bastard Everything” continues the shift towards Hard Core/Industrial sounds started on the last release “Potshots” and away from the more straight ahead Street Punk/Oi of the earlier releases. To my untrained ears it’s a mix of old Therapy?, Helmet and US Hard Core – and I’m sure someone will tell me I’m either deaf, stupid or ignorant for making those comparisons (and oh yeah doesn’t the cover look a bit like the back of Queen’s , “The Miracle”).

Dropkick Murphys: Singles Collection Volume 2

Kind of a stop-gap between releases I guess, putout just in time for Paddy’s Day and the DKMs now traditional run of shows in Boston, Basically this a collection of b-sides and other rarities that you spent a lot of money on eBay trying to amass. It’s a mixed bag of covers. A decent but not essential release.

The Electrics: Old, New, Borrowed and Green

The Electrics have gone and recorded the CD they have threatened to make for a while and could have made on “Rock’n’Reel” if the producer hadn’t lost his nerve and buried the guitars in the mix. This time the guitars are loud, loud and louder – rumor has it ManOwar on hearing “Old, New, Borrowed and Green” have hung up their leather jock-straps and the Real McKenzies have bought long trousers. If you heard Killicranked-up on Shite’n’Onions vol. 1, this is in a similar vain. If not then imagine a cross of Scottish and Irish traditional, 70’s Glam (Slade & T-Rex) and PUNK ROCK (Sex Pistols.) All men play on McTen – indeed.

Neck: Sod ‘em & Begorrah

If the 6-song “Psycho Ceilidh” is considered an EP, and “Here’s Mud in your Eye” is essentially the same as a remixed “Necked,” than an argument could be made that “Sod ‘em & Begorrah” is the second actual release from the band Neck. As such, it proves to be a strong sophomore release.
As in all of their previous CDs, one of Neck’s strongest identifying characteristics is the arrangement. The band plays in many layers; the solid, rock rhythm section is sharply accented by the fiddle, banjo, and occasionally, the Uilleann pipes, providing an elaborate and consistent backdrop for O’Keefe’s vocals. Marie McCormack’s wandering whistle completes Neck’s sound with its continuous exploration of the melody.
The new CD maintains a level of rowdiness just a notch or so above the band’s usual approach with the electric guitar occupying a more prominent role in the majority of the songs than it has in past releases. Although this obscures the clarity of the vocals in some cases, it provides the overall feel of the disc with a fuller, edgier sound
“Sod ‘em…” does, however, contain a few slower numbers, (“May the Road Rise With You,” “Caoineadh/Blood on the Streets,” and an Uilleann pipe-infused “I’ll Take Me Back.”) These are approached with a degree of emotion that really draws out the passionate capacities of Leeson O’Keefe’s voice, and makes these songs standouts on the disc.
Of the traditional tracks on the disc “The ‘Psycho-Ceilidh’ Mayhem Set” is an eight and a half minute long set of traditional jigs and reels that starts innocently enough, but soon snowballs into an intensity akin to that of riding a rollercoaster holding an armful of cats! (As soon as this track ended, I caught my breath, and played it again! It’s that good.)
Bean-counters should be pleased as the disc clocks in at a hair shy of one full hour from start to finish with no weak “filler” tracks included.
As a second release, it clearly surpasses the dreaded “Follow-up” stigma that plagues many second discs. As a fourth release, it continues to combine great song-writing with excellent orchestration. However you count it, “Sod ‘em and Begorrah” is a CD that any visitor to the Shite ‘n’ Onion site should have.

Review by: Christopher Toler, The Blathering Gommel

Oysterband: The Big Session, Volume 1

Once regarded as prominent torchbearers of the alternative folk-rock movement along with the Pogues and Men They Couldn’t Hang (some even labeled them as punks), Oysterband have gradually settled into the role of venerable, thoughtful folkies. In fact, perhaps to their chagrin, Oysterband now more closely resembles artists like Fairport Convention and Richard & Linda Thompson than they might be willing to admit. On this, their umpteenth release, they are joined by longtime friend June Tabor (remember FREEDOM AND RAIN), Eliza Carthy and members of Show of Hands and Chicago alt-country group Handsome Family, among others. There is nothing particularly alternative here, instead, reliable British folk-rock in the classic mold; “John Barleycorn” is performed in the Fairport style and the a cappella “The New Jerusalem” sounds as if it belongs on any number of Steeleye Span albums. This album is so chock full of inspirational and moving songs that it begs the question, when will THE BIG SESSION, VOLUME 2 be released?

Dave Sleger

Transsylvanians: Igen!

IGEN! Is the fifth release by this Berlin based folk-rock band. This self-described “Hungarian speed folk” group combines many elements toward their unique sound. A rhythmic punk intensity is matched by Eastern European compositional stylings and catchy melodies. Rapid-fire electric rhythm guitar generally dictates the mood of each piece and is accentuated by accordion, gypsy violin and relentless bass and drums. Stylistically they resemble the Ukrainians and vocally, the Transsylvanians bring to mind the contemporary Finish vocal group Värttinä. Suffice it to say, this band relies as much on traditional sounds as contemporary, but fuses them in a way that will especially appeal to listeners of alternative folk and folk-punk. Igen! was one of the most pleasant surprise releases of 2004.

Dave Sleger

Lack of Limits: Live Too

This is the fifth album release by this German folk-rock outfit and the second live CD since 2000. Overall they perform in the classic Celtic-rock configuration of drums, bass and guitar augmented regularly by accordion and fiddle. On rare occasion saxophone and didgeridoo color their arrangements – and not always for the best. Their rendition of “16 Tons” takes on a dubious identity with the heavy saxophone and overwrought lead vocals. Of the eight tracks included here, five are traditional while two are borrowed from Pressgang’s FIRE album – “Take a Jump” and “Merrily Merrily.” Although Lack of Limits’ thick German accent may cloud one’s impression of this band, they are an extremely competent band, instrumentally speaking, who might benefit from a more natural, English speaking vocalist.

Dave Sleger

An Cat Dubh: Light

Unlike Lack of Limits, An Cat Dubh is a German band that has a solid grasp on English and its nuances. On this, their seventh release An Cat Dubh employs an exclusively acoustic lineup that more closely resembles the Dubliners than their previous rock-oriented efforts. Predominantly comprised of traditional Irish tunes (including the suddenly trendy “Fields of Athenry”) LIGHT also tackles selections by Tommy Sands, Eric Bogle and Bruce Springsteen. This band fares better when the amps are turned up, however, this coffeehouse set works better than expected. And the sing-along nature of these songs would be accompanied nicely by a pint of Beamish or Sprecher Irish Stout (shameless local plug).

Dave Sleger

Foggy Dew: Sleight of Hand

After a steady string of CDs dating back to 1992 that were influenced heavily by English and Irish folk-rock, this Austrian combo scaled back its membership and increased its songwriting responsibilities, yielding a stripped down, subdued modern folk sound. This retooled group refocused its efforts toward instrumental precision and strength of melody, an approach hinted at slightly on 1999’s WHEN I’M THERE. That release relied solely on original compositions, albeit with a rockier edge. Unfortunately, like Lack of Limits, Foggy Dew would be received much better in the US and other English speaking regions if their enunciation were sharper and cleaner. Still, if you enjoy the sounds created by accordions, mandolins and acoustic guitar there is definitely redeeming value to found here.

Dave Sleger

No Smoking Orchestra: Life is a Miracle

Although not received until early 2005 this ‘04 release instantaneously rocketed to the top of my “best of” list for last year. How do I even begin to describe this totally unique band? While Bosnian filmmaker and guitarist Emir Kusturica seems to attract most of the attention of No Smoking Orchestra these days, this is truly a group effort that depends as much on singer Dr. Nelle Karajlic’s acerbic vocals and violinist Dejan Sparavalo’s inspired arranging and writing as Kusturica’s celebrity. Equal parts vaudeville, punk rhythms and gypsy music, this is unlike anything many of you have ever been subjected to. It must be noted that this music is “inspired and taken from” the quirky film of the same name so variations on the main theme are revisited throughout the album. But the individual songs like “Wanted Man,” “Who Killed the DJ,” “Ovo je Musiki Svet” and “Gladno Srce” are the main attraction here — marches driven by the sloppy (by design) gypsy brass band, unhinged operatic singing, reasonable acoustic jazz guitar, swirling interaction between tuba, accordion and gypsy violin and more indescribable zaniness. This CD is an utter delight and highly recommended for those who are looking for uniqueness that isn’t confined to any one genre. Punk? At times. Folk-rock? Absolutely! Camp? If that’s what you wanna call it. This is the best damn soundtrack recording ever created, period!

Dave Sleger

Antichrisis: A Legacy of Love Mark II

In an odd move Antichrisis has re-recorded their 1998 artistic breakthrough A LEGACY OF LOVE in its entirety on a new record label, Reartone Records. I’m not exactly sure why this was necessary as this final product isn’t measurably different from the original. But if it generates buzz and attention to this erstwhile overlooked gem perhaps it is justified. Antichrisis is somewhat of an anomaly as they combine progressive metal with Celtic-rock in a highly theatrical yet melancholy manner. The attentive listener might conclude that this album is more cohesive and consistent than the original. I try to convince myself that this mix is superior and the rearranged tracklist makes for better continuity but I’m not really sure. There is one new track called “End of December” that (in a real stretch) might remind listeners of Black 47. In any event this is a fine recording that deserves to be heard again. Hopefully this strategy will pay off for Antichrisis.

Dave Sleger

Blood or Whiskey: Cashed Out On Culture

So finally we have the new, much anticipated CD from Blood or Whiskey. The first without original vocalist Barney Murray, and actually it’s pretty much an entire new line up since “No Time to Explain”. Only guitarist and now vocalist Dug’s and drummer Chris O’Mara survive.

So what’s it like? Musically it’s still the familiar Trad-Punk of before just punkier, way more punkier, but old time fans will recognize the sound as distinctively Blood or Whiskeys. Dug’s does a reasonable job on vocals though he’s no Barney Murray (for those who heard the promo CD from last year, the vocals are much improved.) The attitude is still Fuck you. And the songs? When the songs are good on” Cashed Out On Culture” they are very good-the Ska tinged “Poxy Pub”, “Glory O”, “Jar’D fror Life”, “Impaired Vision” and “Ruler, Ruler” to name a few–and Blood or Whiskey are top of the game. When the songs are not, they are just average

Los Langeros: Very Interesting

Now for something from way out in left field. Los Langeros are from Cork, Ireland and they play quite possibly the most intense country music ever put to disk – it’s punk, trash and Hank feckin Williams. Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah… very interesting CD. Curious, go to and listen to some mp3’s.

Lecker Sachen: Universum d’Amour

The third release by this German outfit reveals some of the most innovative advances in modern Celtic music. Combining the pop and hip-hop foundation of their first album and the sophisticated acoustic arrangements of RAUS, their second effort, UNIVERSUM is the logical next step for front man Markus Brachtendorf. Sung exclusively in German, Lecker Sachen rivals the sampling and techno efforts of such groundreaking Celtic artists as Tartan Amoebas, Paul Mounsey, Shooglenifty and Slainte Mhath. And as is the case with those bands, Lecker Sachen shines when they allow the folk instruments like banjo, fiddle and wood flute to be heard above the programming. The non-German speaking among us may gravitate toward instrumentals like “Schnelle Melodie” and “Fabrik Melancholique,” two outstanding selections driven impeccably by their inherent folk melodies but accentuated creatively by peculiar rhythms and effects and boldly supplemented by the neo-classicist Gangsta String Trio. An exceptionally artistic effort, this album provides mood music for both the background and foreground in an unconventional yet appealing manner.

Dave Sleger

Ronan O’Snodaigh: Tonnta Ro’

The second solo offering from Kila lead singer Ronan O’Snodaigh differs vastly from his 2001 debut TIP TOE. That album was resplendent in its swirling and rich melodies. While rhythm is always key to O’Snodaigh’s music, it wasn’t the driving force of TIP TOE. This album, however, is a rhythmic affair with virtually no lasting melodies to speak of. O’Snodaigh’s passionate yet monotonous vocals coupled with his percussive accompaniment create an omnipresent and droning rhythm that is inspirational and tiresome all at once. The fact that this album was sung entirely in Irish Gaelic (TIP TOE was sung in English) adds to the mystery and complexity of this recording. This is clearly an acquired taste that could either leave the listener begging for more or refusing to finish the serving on his plate.

Dave Sleger

Piirpauke: Piirpauke

Long before such eclectic artists like Boiled in Lead and Reptile Palace Orchestra tantalized discerning listeners with their unique brand of rock-driven ethno-fusion, and even before Brave Combo was recognized as leading purveyors of offbeat world music, there existed a little known band from Finland. Piirpauke was formed in the early seventies and continues to this day. They specialize in combining folk melodies from throughout Europe and the Mid East with Latin rhythms, a rock beat and a free-jazz mindset. The jazz element does dominate some of the earlier recordings as leader Sakari Kukko hails from a jazz background, however, as this band progressed so did their musical influences and performance style. If that’s problematic for you but this description intrigues you, try their mid eighties period as a starting point. Albums like THE WILD EAST and particularly ALGAZARA are loaded with diverse sounds like the Romanian “Turceasca,” the beautiful Finnish traditional piece “Kantele” and their rendition of Wolfgang Mozart’s “Rondo a la Turca.” Indeed, Piirpauke creates compelling music for discriminating tastes.

Dave Sleger

Siobhan: Welfare State

Welfare State just scraped into the Shite’n’Onions 2004 top 10 CD’s of the year at number 10, and that was only after 2 listens at that point. If I had a chance to give it a real blast it would have been higher, much higher and since I set the rules and compile the list, I think I’m going to include it in 2005 list as well. Siobhan have come a long way since recording McGravy’s Iron Liver” in a basement with a single microphone and a Casio keyboard, and while that was good and their first full length, “The Patron Saints of Debauchery” was better, “Welfare State” is fantastic. Occupying a musical middle ground between The Pogues and Flogging Molly – high energy whiskey and vodka inspired Celt-Punk with a few familiar melodies. Not a bad track insight but particular standouts include; “Jakeys gone to Germany”(about touring with Neck), the re-recorded very maniac “Celtbot” and “Straight from hell”. Very highly recomended

Ceann: Almost Irish

Somewhere high in the Himalayas sits a a might mountain peak capped in empty Guinness cans and bottles of Paddy and on top (stay with me I was just watching Batman Begins) sits the great sage, CEANN. Despensing wisdom through song to all those who seek it.

Seeker: Oh might CEANN what will happen if I drink green beer?

CEANN: Green beer makes your weiner shrink and your poop turn green.

Seeker: Is Bud a great beer?

CEANN: That shit ain’t no good. Pabst Blue Ribbon is the beer.

Seeker: What can I do to get a girl?

CEANN: Tighter pants and stronger beer.

Seeker: Why do Americans play Irish Music? What do you think of Colin Farrell? What will my butt tattoo like when I’m 80?

And so on……..funny shit

I could go on but the bands lawyer treatened to sue me if I published anymore of their material.

Oh, and the music? Strong contempary Irish-American folk. Black 47’s/Seanchai’s Chris Byrne guests of Uilleann pipes.

In Arcadia: If it bleeds, can we kill it?

‘If it bleeds, we can kill it’ is the first full-length CD by Detroit based In Arcadia. Nine tracks of brutally powerful, yet melodic hardcore – screaming vocal, trashy metallic riffs with just a touch of alternative/ indie music – clocking it at just over half-an-hour. Not really my cupp’a, but if Hardcore is your thing then go for it.

The Kissers: Good Fight

I would wager that The Kissers have played every pub, club and toilet in the US at least twice in the last twelve months, or so it seems from their touring schedule. The hard work though has really paid off on their latest CD; “Good Fight”. “Good Fight” is easily the bands best release and that’s not a knock to their last release “Fire in the Belly” which is a fine CD in its own right. But on “Good Fight” the band really have their shit together – great playing, super tight and ultimately great songs. The Kissers started off as a Pogues cover band and yeah the Pogues influence is still strong but now they are also swigging from the same whiskey bottle as Johnny Cash (and maybe Jeff Damiler – I guess that’s a Wisconsin thing but these guys can be dark, very dark.) It’s hard to pick highlights cos’ their all highlights but if someone put a gun to my head it would be; the rockin’ opener “What they can”, the redneck version of “Mursheen Durkin”, the gospel rocker, “Kicked in the head” and an anti-war song that would get GWB moshing.

Flatfoot Fixtysix: Knuckles Up

You may have heard of these guys already. If not, now is a great time to tune in. I swear I wasn’t going to do this, but I can’t help it! If you miss that early Dropkick Murphys sound, then “Knuckles Up” will probably make your day! That’s right, some top-notch sing-a-longs, a whole lotta street-punk, a little bagpipe, some mandolin…You get the picture. Let me also mention, Flatfoot Fifty-Six sound amazingly tight. It probably helps when 3 out of 4 of the band members are brothers.

Flatfoot 56 call the thriving metropolis of Chicago home, and are currently enjoying, and contributing to some of the great music currently coming out of the Big Windy right now. I must apologise, I’ve been holding on to this album for 8 or 9 months. (Misplaced during a move.) I’m sure they sound even better with almost another year under their belts. If you haven’t heard these guys yet, they have MP3’s up on their website: (And have songs up on the very addictive

Here’s what I got from the website: Flatfoot 56 was formed during the summer of 2000 on the southwest side of Chicago as a three piece punk band.The brothers, (Tobin Justin and Kyle) started writing songs and putting a line up together in the fall of 2000 and by Christmas time of the same year they were playing their first show. In January of 2001 the band added the one man powerhouse of Josh Robieson to the line up and the band started working on including the bagpipes and a second guitar into its sound. With the addition of a new member, Flatfoot began to perfect their live show and build their fan base. In 2001 they recorded their first demo and the band got busy. In the summer of 2002 the band hit the studio once again to record their first full length album titled The Rumble of 56. This recording was done in Rockford IL. In a studio called the Noise Chamber. After the release of the rumble of 56, Flatfoot 56 was ready for the recording of their second album called Waves of War (2003). This second album saw great advances in the bands popularity. Flatfoot’s song That’s Ok saw some heavy radio play throughout radio stations across the mid-west. The band began headlining shows and even got a chance to play with some major acts in front of large crowds. Things seemed to pick up and the following year Flatfoot found themselves playing on a stage at cornerstone in front of an audience of over 700. It was at this show that the band released their latest album titled Knuckles up. This album has since been the bands best selling record and has shown no signs of letting up.

There’s a few rumors out there regarding them as a “Christian” punk band. Let me be the first one to say… “WHO THE FUCK CARES!” Sure there’s a lyric or two that mentions that topic, but is it going to stop you from enjoying the album? I should hope not. Any band that has influences that range from: The Pogues, The Real Mckenzies, The Street Dogs, The Proclaimers, The Business, Johnny Cash, Blitz, The Clash, Cock Sparrer are more than welcomed in my record player. I’m sure you’ll agree.

Review By: Barnacle Brian Gillespie

Boys From The Hill: Boys From The Hill

It’s not too often I’m ever at a loss of words, but every so often some random band comes along and commands my complete attention. Boys From The Hill are one of those bands. This Welsh trio have been playing various clubs, pubs, festivals, and whatnot for the past fifteen years and sure enough, I just now found out about them. Better late than never I suppose! Actually, they were recently recommended to me by Alistair Hulett, and in some circles, that carries some serious weight. Boys From The Hill play their own acoustic brand of Welsh urban folk that leans pretty heavy on the political, maritime, industrial, and historical issues that surround the culture of South Wales and beyond.

Just about every song on this album carries the raw energy of acoustic punk to that grand ole table of celtic folk we all love so much. The power of the 11 tracks on this album are undeniable. Pure, honest, and real. A must have album for any Shite’n’Onions reader/listener. Some of these songs are originals, and some are not, but then again, they are all songs worthy of a good listen. This self titled album is actually a few years old, but the years don’t really matter when the topics are as timeless as the ones mentioned here.

These are powerful songs that speak of everything from forced labor camps in depression era Britian, to immigrants in Western Australia that were forced to work in the death plauged asbestos mines due to two-year government bonds, to tales of exploitation in the valleys and towns of South Wales. Other songs reflect the strong maritime history of the area, including Track 5. “SS Agnes Jack” a mournful song telling us the tale of the steamship Agnes Jack which ran aground and all it’s passengers that drowned within sight of villagers who could only watch in horror as they tried to help. Other tracks include a latin flavored tune about the Sandinistas of Nicaragua on Track 6 cleverly titled “Guitarra Armada”. There’s a medley (Track 3) that contain a song written by Alistair Hulett, (Blue Murder) that turns into a foot stomping original, (Ffwrnanji) that eventually becomes a song not Welsh in origin, but in fact, Macedonian (Zletovsko).

Here is the tracklisting:
1. Brechfa Jail/The Ballad Of Ben Russ (Russ/Original)
2. Theme Park (Original)
3. Blue Murder/Ffwrnanji/Zletovsko (A. Hulett/Original/Traditional)
4. Bells Of Rhymney (Words:Idris Davies-music:Pete Seeger)
5. SS Agnes Jack (Tomi Jenkins)
6. Guittar Armada (Gary Phillips)
7. Lifeboat Mona (Peggy Seeger)
8. Waltzes For Nolwenn/Polka Dim Enw/South Glower Breakdown (Original)
9. Ffarwel Fo I Langyfelach Ion (Words:Siam Twrfyl)
10. Miner This, Miner That (Jock Purdon)
11. Dark Eyed Sailor (Traditional)

The band continue to write new material and develop their sound and they will be releasing an EP available for Download from their site ( ) around November, and their second album early in the New Year. Keep your eyes & ears open for these upcoming releases.

Review By: Barnacle Brian Gillespie

The Wages of Sin: Custom Of The Sea

Billed as delivering a treasure chest of “Punk Rock, Sea Shanties & Appalachian Death Polka”, Seattle’s Wages of Sin do not so much fuse disparate musical elements as revel in the direct lineage of their influences. Sharp tense ‘50’s rock & roll hooks mesh with mountain fiddle stomps in a ballsy reminder that the two styles are just a short shuffle down the holler from each other; mountain music is the raw-handed grandfather of rock & roll after all. And, of course, bluegrass and Appalachian music are the frontier offspring of the Celtic and British ballad and dance music traditions. The Wages plunder these histories with total affinity and come up with a blend as clean and warm as a mouthful of Jamaican rum.

Steaming out of the yard with a version of the traditional ‘Railway’, complete with a chorus of navvies snarling and hollering in a shanty tent, the band are soon on a south-bound route with ‘Lay Me Down’ and its ‘Devil Went Down To Georgia’-style barnyard swing. The bull fiddle snaps, the mandolin rings and the rain drives down. ‘The Angel’s Share’ continues the singalong with a bottle of sly grog passed around the back pews of a lonesome Baptist church. And then we get to ‘The Tyburn Jig’which tells the grim tale of villainous wife-slaying cads and their road to the end of a rope. If this song is not on the next Shite’n’Onions Best Of, I will eat my scally cap for breakfast.

Onto ‘Baptized by Fire’, which takes us back to that junction in the holler where rock’n’roll left home. The opening hook reminds us that for all the candy floss in the ‘50’s hit ‘Wake up Little Suzie’, the Everly Brothers themselves were coming out of an old and often wild tradition. That sense of history through music runs like a thread here, not unlike Steve Earle’s classic ‘Copperhead Road’.

‘Django’ sees us in Sergio Leone territory; with a respectful nod to the vastly underrated Pogues (with Shane) swan song ‘Hell’s Ditch’. ‘Buccaneers (of Elliott Bay)’ has gotta be another S’n’O Best Of contender. ‘Graveyard Blues’ is virtually a tribute to the most desolate of Appalachian ballad forms, and a cover of the classic porch knees-up ‘Salty Dog Blues’ is one for the whole family. It sort of reminds me of the Muppets’ Jug Band, and I mean that as a serious compliment! Despite the name, ‘Heave Away’ is a cool cat strut – you can just see the cigarette smoke pooling above the double bass and neon beer signs.

‘Jolly Roger’ is an album favourite, a fat cannonball of pure pirate punk. ‘Dia de los Muertos’ tells the wayward tale of a gringo’s narrow escape in a way that brings to mind Shane MacGowan’s ‘Mexican Funeral in Paris’. ‘Drinkin’ Days’ is a honky tonk classic, complete with a time-to-clean-up-my-act sentiment that is designed to make you want to drink even more.

The voyage – or was that railroad trip – ends with ‘Saturday Saints’, a good bonding pub song complete with some classy Irish fiddle work as a closer. And then you hit ‘Replay’ and do it all again.

Great stuff. Get it.
Review by Will Swan

The Tossers: The Valley of the Shadow of Death

The Tossers remind me of an old baseball player on steroids – years of slugging away, playing decent but never going to make the all-star-team. Then the coach suggests steroids and suddenly its frigging home runs galore. “The Valley of the Shadow of Death” is The Tossers on steroids (or some other not too good for you substance). Now, I’ve always liked The Tossers, thought they were a good band, and especially on their last CD “Purgatory” but to me they were always going to play second fiddle to the likes of Flogging Molly. Never did I think they would make something as good and as powerful as “….Shadow of Death”. Most of you will have heard or seen (here) the riotous first single “goodmornin ‘da” and it’s a great introduction to the full CD thought the rest of the CD is not as instant and much more dark and moody then the introduction offer. Very reminiscent of The Pogues at their best and I’m going to be so bold as to say it’s the CD The Pogues should have made to follow up “If I Should Fall From….”. Flogging Molly lookout, The Tossers are going to bite you on the ass very soon.

Sharky Doyles: Back of the yards

I was out in Chicago very recently and the one thing that struck me most was the sheer scale of the place – fuckin’ huge doesn’t do justice to the place. Sharky Doyles are a very Chicago band, ‘Back of the yards’, being the stock yards on the south side, is their debut CD. Like their home town these guys are huge – riffs big enough to knock you on your ass and vocals that will stomp on you when your down – south side Irish are the tough guys in Chicago. Fans of crack it up, chant it out, punk rock’n’bag pipes like Dropkick Murphys, Real McKenzies and The Go Set will love this.

The Zydepunks: …and the streets will flow with whiskey

It’s almost October, and this is my choice for album of the year!

I’ve been waiting to hear this album for years. Even before I’d ever heard the album, or even heard of The Zydepunks, I’ve been wanting to hear Cajun-punk. I remember discussing the idea of starting a Cajun-flavored punk band with a few friends years ago as a joke, it sounded like a great idea. Too bad none of us had any clue about Cajun music, Zydeco music, or anything remotely close. We figured there were probably a few bands in Nawlins already doing it, and our discussion altered into who was buying the next round.

A couple of years later at a BBQ, I heard a Zydepunks song and got so excited, I attempted a drunken back flip, and landed on my head. lying upside down between the bushes, grass, a fence, and dog shit, at the edge of my buddies yard, I screamed “FUCK YEAH!” It was so original, fresh, and exciting. A totally new sound. I couldn’t get enough. (True story!)

The Zydepunks like to call their flavor of music: Bayou Gypsy Punk. It’s a combination of: New Orleans-Cajun-Irish-Breton-Klezmer-Slavic-Zydeco, and let me tell you, since the BBQ, I’ve been listening to it non-stop. If the combination of genres isn’t enough for you, maybe the combination of languages will wet your whistle. The Zydepunks sing in English, French, German, Spanish, Yiddish, and Portuguese. The album “And The Streets Will Flow With Whiskey” is all over the place. The placement of the songs seriously reminded me of listening to The Pogues album “If I Should Fall From Grace With God” for the first time. The songs are all over the place. You’ll be smiling from ear to ear with an irresistible urge to dive nose first into a bowl of gumbo. (Maybe that’s just me.) It’s an album you’ll play in it’s entirety, you won’t want to skip a track. After a description like that, what more needs to be said? A whole helluvalot.

According to their website, the quick history of The Zydepunks goes something like this:
Five years ago, Eve Venema and Christian Kuffner met while street-performing in the French Quarter with a clown on a unicycle and a white rapper supposedly on the run from the FBI. A number of raucous shows at the notorious old Hi-Ho Lounge followed, planting the seeds for what was to come. The Zydepunks are moving from being a traditional folk band (or a glorified cover band) to creating original music inspired from their diverse backgrounds and instrumentation. From the heart of New Orleans, the Zydepunks tear it up on accordion, fiddle and drums, playing their own breed of Bayou Gypsy Punk. Singing in six languages and deftly mixing styles in a frantic pace, they take the audience from Louisiana Bayous to Berlin cabarets and everything in between, mixing traditional folk tunes with their own originals. Playing dance music that is popular across all ages and crossing all genres, the Zydepunks force their audience to get up on their feet and stomp through hours of music

1. Madeleine (trad. Acadian)
2. Satan/Dance You Fukr (trad. Klezmer)
3. Lowlands of Baghdad (trad.Irish arr. by Christian)
4. A Fistful of Oysters (original)
5. Bwamba’s Rambles (original)
6. Eve’s (original)
7. Tumbalalaika (trad. Jewish)
8. Reel & Jig Set (trad. Irish)
9. Con tí se va mi corazón (original)
10. Romanian Hora & Bulgar (trad. Klezmer)
11. Johnny Can’t Dance (trad. Acadian)
12. Die Schwimmbadpiraten (original)
13. Mabel’s Got the Blues (original)

I’m sure what happened to New Orleans, and the Gulf Coast is still in your thoughts. I’d like to happily mention that even if the members of The Zydepunks are temporarily scattered across the globe. (From North Carolina to Austria) Not even a fucking hurricane (Or two) will stop them, or their music. They’ll be playing a Halloween show in Memphis, so make sure you support them when they come through your town. Even their CD’s have been saved from the storm. So make sure you pick one up if you’re lucky enough to see them live, or if you live too far away, you can order it from their website: So, if you’re looking to hear something somewhat similar to Celt-Punk, but with a spicy Cajun twist, I suggest picking up a copy right now, play it at a backyard BBQ, and keep an eye out for the village idiot attempting a back flip into the bushes.

Reviewed by “Barnacle” Brian Gillespie

Big Bad Bollocks: Night On the Tiles ( a re-review)

First off this is the first time I’ve tried to review a album so go easy on me. That and I never got around to finishing high school and learning that grammar and spelling BS. Anyways, On to the review.

You might know John Allen (lead singer of BBB) as the guy playing whistle and singing with DKM on there song “Far Away Coast” That’s the first time I heard him at least.
The bands lineup consists of John (Vocals, Whistle, Squeezebox), Pino (Guitar, vocals, keys), Ernie Wilson (Bass/Vocals) And Sal Vega (Drums) which Is a fairly light mix of traditional instruments compared to most of the Irish rock bands out there. At least half of the tunes on the CD have no or hardly any trad instruments at all. The bollocks however can outplay (and probably out drink) most of those bands easily, using a mix of great music writing lyrical storytelling and plain craziness.
To me the bands style makes me think of Irish folk, some good old fashioned rock ‘n roll with some great football terrace choruses thrown in there. All the whistle/accordion driven riffs, Rolling Stones esque guitar and Oi! Oi!’s you could ask for.
So a little about some of the songs: Big Bad Bollocks is the bands anthem and sports a awesome driving accordion riff, ‘The pubs of Liverpool’ and ‘Drunker than I was’ could possibly be two of the best songs to swing a pint through the air to. ‘Motorcycle jacket’ is a distorted guitar driven song of teen angst, and ‘Night on the tiles’ chronicles all to well the mess that I and probably most of you find ourselves in every weekend night.
All in all this album is the best that I’ve found in a quite awhile. It stands out from the crowd of folk rock and doesn’t really sound like any other band I’ve listened to before (in a good way) Defiantly going in my top 8 folk rock albums.
Its really a shame that information and music for these guys is almost impossible to find.
By Ben Taylor

Barleyjuice: Barleyjuice/Another Round

I’m going to try and kill two birds with the proverbal one stone here by squishing the reviews of both Barley Juice CDs into one review. First up is 2001’s self titled ‘Barleyjuice’ a collection of traditional drinking, fighting, courtin and sailing songs which is more Dubliners then The Pogues and much more Clancy Brothers then anyone else, both in song choice and performance. 2005’s ‘Another Round’, follows on in the tradition of the debut but adds in a few originals which stand up well to tradition staple of covers. ‘Scottish Samba’ is a classic. If you haven’t made up your mind were your going to be next Paddys Day then where ever these guys are playing would be a very fine choice.

Jugopunch: Where are we now?

Hard Folk is probably the best description I can come up for Stoke-on-Trent, England’s Jug’o’punch. Part Pogues, part Dubliners with a touch of American bluegrass and blues (lots of harmonicas here). Like The Pogues before ’em, Jug’o’Punch mix the romance of Irish dreams and yearning with the gritty reality of life in the UK Those like me who loved “Fiver on the horses” and “Cold” from the recent EP will love this full length.

The Scuttlers: Heathen Death Barrels

Its hard to believe The Scuttlers contain a member of legendary 70’s Aussie punks X – Geoff Holmes – ‘cos this is totally different to anything old punk fans could ever imagine. Think of a Celtic Grateful Dead tripping on Irish whiskey and magic mushrooms – jigs’n’reels and raggle taggle with spacey female vocals often hidden behind background tapes. The cover of “Whiskey in the jar” is an amazing Alt-country version.

Con: 9 Songs

And now for something completely different. Well sort off. While most Celtic-rock bands use The Clash as their jumping off point from the rock world into the world of The Pogues and onwards to The Dubliners and Clancys. Con from Philadelphia have influences coming from late eighties/early nineties alternative rock – The Pixies and U2 when they were ripping off, eh, being influenced by The Pixies. Adding to this base are traditional Irish melodies which soften the hard guitar edges. Singer-songwriter Frank Daly appropriately enough was with rebel group Spirit of ’16 prior to Con. The lyrics here are some of the most pro-Irish Republican I heard this side of Black 47 or That Petrol Emotion and like both these very fine groups I feel the lyrics may hold the band back from wider acceptance outside the Irish rock scene but I doubt somehow they give a shit about that.

Various Artists : Paddy Rock Radio Volume 1

First of all hats off to Paddy Rock Radio’s John Bowels for putting this comp together. As someone who has put together a similar project I know what’s involved in pulling everything together and believe me it can be a major pain in the ass. Chicago based Paddy Rock Radio is a peer Shite’n’Onions and a long time supporter of the Celtic/Punk scene. Paddy Rock Volume 1 is a celebration of the shows 5th anniversary and is a collection of both classic and new Paddy Rock. Some of the the music on offer here will be very familiar (The Peelers, The Prodigals, Greenland Whalefishers and The Mahones) and some stuff is new even to me. The new bands to me that I loved and now want to check out further are Flatfoot 56 (bagpipes and hardcore), The Killigans (Flogging Molly like with feeling and great vocals), Switchback (Reggae’n’Irish).

Full band list: Flatfoot 56, The Peelers, The Bloody Irish Boys, The Killigans, Jackdaw, The Go Set, The Mahones, Switchback, The Prodigals, Greenland Whalefishers, IceWagon Flu, The Scuttlers, The Broken Shillelaghs

The Pubcrawlers : Another night on the floor

The Pubcrawlers have come a long way from their rough and ready first demo recorded a little over two years ago and while they band still retain that early enthusiasm they have come on in leaps and bounds as a band in terms of musical and studio skill – fans of straight ahead, no frills Celtic-Punk like The Porters, The Real McKenzies and Dropkick Murphys will certainly get a kick outta this and all others should keep an eye on ’em cos that classic is just around the corner.

Various Bands On (Part One)

A few months ago, someone told me about My first thought was LiveJournal. You know, one of of those websites where you can post your horrible, teenage poetry on some blog so all your “buddies” can read them, and feel sorry for your pathetic ass, and give you a big hug in the school hallway right before math class….(Okay I’m done.)

Yes, for the most part Myspace is worthless, but I’ll admit, the cool thing is you can listen to all kinds of bands, (Some good, some REALLY bad!!) that you never would have heard about. Here’s a quick list and description of some of the bands I thought are worth checking into.

The Dirges

– I’ll admit, this is the reason I felt the need to review all these bands I heard on Myspace. You seriously need to check The Dirges out right now. To put it very blunt…They have a great fucking sound. In fact, if you decide to check out Molly Malones Pub in Hollywood. (Of Flogging Molly fame) You’ll probably see The Dirges up on stage playing some tunes. They are more or less, Molly Malones “weekday house band”. Speaking of Flogging Molly, a member of The Dirges, (Francis DeAngelo) sing backup vocals on their last album. They also opened up for Spider Stacy/Filthy Theivin’ Bastards in L.A. a few months back. Just what does this band sound like? Here’s a description form the band: “The Clash meets Van Morrison in a Irish pub. They all leave, go to Shane MacGowans house for a few pints and ALL HELL BREAKS LOOSE!” I honestly think they sound better than that description, but what do I know! Reminds me of a young Van Morrison fronting The Low & Sweet Orchestra. Look for a big ol’ review on Shite’n’Onions soon! Consider this as a quick teaser. Have I mentioned great fucking sound yet? or

The Scotchgreens

– From Ketchum (Ketchup?), Idaho. The ScotchGreens are not a Celt-Punk band at all, but the majority of S’n’O readers will enjoy them anyways. From the website: “Formed in 1998 and originating from Idaho and California, The ScotchGreens blend punk rock, bluegrass, and American roots music to form a unique sound that challenges and captivates its fans. Based out of San Diego, The ScotchGreens have a reputation for high-energy shows, and play on a regular basis throughout Southern California.” or


– From Seattle, Washington. They describe themselves as: “A drunken Irish folk singer dancing in the barn he just lit on fire.” Meisce has been together since October of 2002, combining elements of Irish folk, gypsy, Eastern European klezmer, and punk rock, among other influences. We are excessively drink-friendly, and our live shows usually erupt into frenzied dancing and flying alcoholic beverages. They are in the process of recording a full-length album, and from what I’ve heard from these guys so far, it should be good. check out or

The Sharky Doyles

– From the south side of the Windy City. I know they’ve been mentioned on S’n’O before, but you gotta love the way they decribe their sound: “If Social Distortion, The Pogues and the Dropkick Murphys had a three way with your little sister, the Sharky Doyles would be the little bastard that came out 9 months later.” You’ve gotta admit, that description alone deserves a listen, and when you do, I’m sure you’ll enjoy The Sharky Doyles.

The Barstool Hooligans

– You’ve gotta love the name. The Barstools some from Eire, Pennsylvania, and from what I’ve heard, they have a celtabilly punk’n’roll kind of sound. The second album should be out Fall 2005. Look for a full review of that album sometime soon. or

Fighting Sullivans

– Do you like the GC5, Dropkick Murphys, and lyrics influnced by Shane MacGowan and Billy Bragg? Then you’ll enjoy Fighting Sullivans. Hailing from the great state of Ohio, home of The Boys From The County Hell, The GC5, and the most horrible name in NHL hockey: The Blue Jackets (Okay second worst, right after The Mighty Ducks.) Check ’em out at: or

The Swaggerin’ Growlers

– If you’re a fan of The PubCrawlers, you’ll also these guys. Probably because The Swaggerin’ Growlers consist of former members of the Pubcrawlers. As a fan of big jugs, I just knew I’d enjoy clicking on the makeshift play button the webmasters over at myspace provide. Speaking of growlers, I have a few growlers full of beer in my fridge. It’s 5pm somewhere… or of course

Brennan’s Revenge

– From Eastlake, Ohio. I’m just going to get the band do the talking…
“As legend has it a man named Rick Sirl (quite possibly the sexiest man on Earth second only to the mighty Ogre…) was looking for pictures of naked tribal women in Readers Digest (he always confused Readers Digest and National Geographic) when he had a most terrific idea.
He thought to himself “I am going to start a progressive rock band and we will be called Silly Wizard and the Lazy Geniuses!” It was a glorious event, the dawning of a new day!
After a few hideous performances at his favorite bathhouse Rick decided to change things up a bit. He decided to play something other than progressive rock, something with a little testicular fortitude. Something like Irish influenced Punk-Country-Folk-Rock.” or

The Closet Squatters

– From Chicago, Illinois. Don’t ask me what the fuck a closet squatter is, because my first thought wasn’t exactly worth going into detail, but it was pretty fucking sick… The Closet Squatters sound like a nice mix of Flogging Molly meets The Kissers.

County Hell

– If you’re in Tallahasse, Florida and need a quick Celt-Punk fix, Check out the band, County Hell. They play around town from time to time. I’m not sure if they have a website up & running yet, so in the meantime, check out

So that should keep you alll busy for a while. I’m sure there’s plenty more decent bands out there, and I’m sure we jokers here at Shite’nOnions will eventually review them one way or another. So you’ve got to admit, even though the majority of Myspace users may have countless pages of shite on their collective blogs of boredom, there are also a few decent bands worth checking out, and supporting. Not maybe those bastards will send me money for all the fucking times I mentioned their site!
Reviewed by “Barnacle” Brian Gillespie

Larkin: Reckoning

I’d never heard Larkin before and didn’t know what to expect but I have to say I was missing out. I’ve nothing against Tulsa, Oklahoma. Any city with a hockey team is OK by me but I wouldn’t have expected this.

Pretty impressive shite from my point of view…This band really got my feet and other parts movin’. This is what I like from a band of this genre. Tunes full of energy with a good sound accompanying it. Nothing overpowering, just straight forward stuff.

As other outfits can easily be identified by their vocal styling, the same can be said of Larkin. Chad Malone’s vocals are a perfect accompaniment to the music; providing a voice that brings Larkin’s songs to life, meshing the music and lyrics together nicely. The other members of the band do a good job providing the base for Malone’s voice.

Larkin does a good job mixing their songs so that the instrumentals don’t overpower the vocals; meaning you can actually hear what they’re singing about. There is a very nice blend of instruments in all of their songs from David Lawrence’s pipes to Karen Naifeh Harmon’s fiddle. All of them find their place in Larkin’s offerings. One would be hard pressed to find any place where the music didn’t fit.

The entire CD is pretty good but I really liked “Of Hope and Misfortune”, “Ghost of Long Gone Days” the instrumental “Woody Hornpipe” amongst others.

Give Larkin a listen. I think you’ll like what you hear. I’ll be givin’ this one plenty of play.

By The Black Stuff

Bumfight: EP

Aha, DIY punk. To quote WFW, “recorded at one session, in one day, in an out building behind a farmhouse”, “mixed and mastered in a few hours and on the streets a couple of days later” and in the Shite’n’Onions review queue for 6 months – sorry guys. This is 10 tracks of some of the most brutally loud punk rock I’ve ever heard and to quote Lemmy “If this band move in next door to you – your lawn would die”.

McDermott’s 2 Hours Vs The Levellers : World Turned Upside Down

While M2H have had quite a storied history dating back into the eighties, in all honesty I had never heard of them until my trusty postman pushed a copy of their most recent collaboration (Disorder) with their old friends The Levellers through the Shite’n’Onions mail box. I promptly (honest) review it for S’n’O and posted a good review – though my thoughts being these guys are real good but not really my cuppa. Nick Burbridge, vocals, guitar and songwriter for M2H was good enough to forward a couple more McDermott’s CDs (The 1986 debut and their first paring with The Levellers, 2000’s World Turned Upside Down) to listen to – which I did, but moved on quickly.

Most recently I reviewed McDermott’s latest release, a live CD, and was struck by just how good M2H really are and so after repeated plays of the likes of “Laying the Sligo Maid” & “Harry Brewer” I went back to listen to them on the studio version and was total and utterly blown away by how good M2H are and especially on World Turned Upside Down – It’s not an immediate album (and that’s my excuse for missing it on the first pass) but give it a chance because it worth it – possible one of the best Folk-Rock (with a heavy Irish twist) CDs ever made in my book and certainly one of the best I’ve every heard. The songwriting is superb, as too is the playing and the production. The aforementioned “Laying the Sligo Maid” & “Harry Brewer” (which compares to The Green Fields of France as an anti-war classic or in this case anti-war but if your going to fight do it for something you believe in) are must hears along with the Spanish flavored “La Passionaria” which is the song The Pogues were trying so hard to write on Hell’s Ditch.

World Turned Upside Down will be very much towards the top of my best CD’s of the year list – 2000 release or not

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