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 Templers Of Doom – The Oliver Cromwell Twist (Bring Me The Head Of John The Baptist)
The Radiators From Space – Television Screen (TV Tube Heart – 40th Anniversary Edition)
Hudson Falcons – Monahan’s (Desperation and Revolution)
The Skels – Pot to Piss In (Stoney Road)
The Bloody Irish Boys – Shake Hands With the Devil (Whiskey Devils: A Tribute to the Mahones)
Kilkenny Knights – Mick Watson (Various – Raise Your Pints Vol.2)
Sir Reg – All Saints Day (Various – Raise Your Pints Vol.2)
Black Anemone – Freedom and for all (In It For Life)
Craic – 20 Years Later (Sound of Vandermark)
Real McKenzies – Scots Wha Ha’e (Two Devils Will Talk)
Running a little late with the list but whatever, great music doesn’t go stale. So without further adieu.
The top five:
#1 The Mahones: The Hunger & The Fight (Part 1)
Twenty five years on and more tour miles driven then the rest of the entire Celtic-punk scene combined, The Mahones on The Hunger & The Fight still have the enthusiasm of a band in the studio for the first time (but thankfully the 25 years and many albums under their belt studio experience).
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
#5 (joint) Black 47: Rise Up – The Political Songs
Black 47 hung up their green suede shoes in November, 2014 after 25 years of hard jigging and gigging. Two albums were released in 2014; Last Call, their final original album, full of fresh and originals ideas and, Rise Up – The Political Songs, a collection of, well, political songs as a reminder of how good this band was.
Craic is an Irish word, an all inclusive word for good times as in “wheres the craic?”, “The craic was mighty!” or “Having the Craic!”. Craic is also the name of a very fine Celtic-punk band from Cleveland, Ohio who bring us their debut full-length, “Amongst the Mischief and Malarkey”. Produced by former Dropkick Murphy, Ryan Foltz, the band is tight and the sound is great – powerful but without losing the bands raw edge. The music of Craic is built on the rawness of the second wave of punk with DKM style gang vocals, layer upon with banjo, tin whistle and fiddle. The closest reference point for comparison is the long departed Nogoodnix.
Track listing and a few song comments:
01 – Hold the Penny – Fast, trashy second wave punk meets tin whistles
02 – Lonesome Lullaby-More American meets Celtic meets punk, again pretty fast
03 – 36 Bombs – About legendary Cleveland Irish gangster Danny Greene and the 36 bombs that tried to kill him, I really need to check out “Kill The Irishman” the movie about his life
04 – Dirty Old Town – Initially I was wondering what the point of covering DOT was until they got all trashy on it after the second verse then I totally got it
05 – Roads Less Traveled
06 – Irish Banshee
07 – Serenity
08 – Marching Orders – Maybe my favorite track on the album – fast, fast, fast
09 – Parallels
10 – Lily & Nolan – A ballad very much in the Irish tradition – beautiful song
11 – Fields of Athenry – A very over done song but this is a fine version
In all, a really strong debut which may have turned me into a Craic addict.