The best of 2014

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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)

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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).

Read the full review here


#2 Whiskey of the Damned: Monsters are Real whiskey of the damned  

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

 

Read the full review here


 

#3 Blood or Whiskey: Tell The Truth And Shame The Devil bow

Pissed and angry but still a party. Its great to have’em back.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Read the full review here


 

#3 Kilkenny Knights: Brady’s Pub Tales download

Honestly not a bad song over the entire almost hour of music and more then a few that could wake the dead and induce them into jig.

 

 

 

 

 

Read the full review here


 

#5 (joint) Black 47: Last Call

#5 (joint) Black 47: Rise Up – The Political Songs B4716CD_lg                   Black 47 Last Call

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.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Rise Up – Read the full review here

Last Call – Read the full review here


 

The best of the rest (in no particular order):


 

The Pourmen: Too Old to Die Young

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Read the full review here


 

Finnegan’s Hell: Drunk, Sick And Blue

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Read the full review here


 

Craic: Amongst the Mischief and Malarkey

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Read the full review here


 

Wages of Sin: Queensbury Rules

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Read the full review here


 

Bastard Bearded Irishmen: Rise of the Bastard

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Read full review here


 

The Biblecode Sundays: Live Near Abbey Road (Park Royal)

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Read full review here


 

Bodh’aktan: Against Winds and Tides

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Read full review here


 

Best of ballads and folk:


 

Irish Whispa: Irish Whispa

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Read full review here


 

The Canny Brothers Band: The Guinness Situation

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Read full review here


 

Hugh Morrison: Scotland is Free

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Read the full review here


 

The Fenian Sons: 617

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Read the full review here


Punk rock shout out


The Hex Bombs: Everything Earned

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Read full review here 


 

DVD:


 

 

Greenland Whalefishers: 20 Years Of Waiting (DVD)

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 Read full review here


 

And a very special shout out.

Radiators from Space: Sound City Beat

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Whiskey of the Damned: Monsters are Real

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.

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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

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