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Wages Of Sin : Drink & The Devil - Demo
One of the good things about blending various musical style together is this band from Seattle called The Wages Of Sin. (No need to discuss the bad right?) The Wages Of Sin self-describe their music as: Punk-Rock Sea Shanties & Appalachian Death Polka Since 1862. Considering the fact that they are dead on, I no longer need to continue with the review! The Wages Of Sin like to use fiddles, stand-up bass, mandolins, guitars, drums & vocals as their respective tools of evil! And according to their bio, they enjoy mixing Celtic with country with Appalachian with rockabilly with Tex-Mex with bluegrass and follow the whole mess with a bracing shot of punk rock. The standout for me where the rockabilly and Appalachian influences. If I were you i'd expect some great music coming from these guys in the future. Anyone heading up to Seattle for the Celtic/Arsenal football match this summer will have a great opportunity to see them live.(That is of course, if they're playing that night..)

Oh yeah I need to mention that the 3rd track "Jolly Roger" is 100% Pirate-Approved! ARGGH!

Review By The Reverend Brian Gillespie

Smoky Finish: Clear This Planet...Immediately
Austria’s (that’s right Austria not Australia) Smoky Finish go a long way to prove what I’ve always said – you don’t have to be Irish or Scottish by birth or descent to play top notch traditional Celtic music with feel and passion. If you disagree with that statement give “The Rock’n’Reel Connection” a good listen and I think you’ll change your mind. Still disagree then go back to you Westlife tapes.

Smoky Finish serve up a platter of the finest rock tinged traditional Celtic music this side of Runrig or even the great Moving Hearts. I should also give a special mention to the tracks “Erin Go Bragh” which manages to incorporate GWB and the theme from Mission Impossible and the stunning cover of Andy Stewarts “The Queen of Argyll”

Blood or Whiskey: Promo EP
I’ve been a big fan of Blood or Whiskey since the release of their classic self-titled CD back in ’96 ( or ’97,) so when it was announced last year that Barney Murray – vocalist and main songwriter - was leaving the band due to ill health, I was disappointed and felt the game was up for a great band. The other original members: Dugs (guitar and now vox) and Chris O’Mara (drums) thought otherwise. Too much blood, sweat and tears had been invested over the previous 6 years to just give it up now. A new line up was recruited with Dugs now on vocals and the band have been working their collective bollox off since – touring Europe, the USA, crashing vans, going to jail and having Topper from the Clash sitting in on the drums one infamous night.

The 5 track promo was put out for the recent US tour with the Dropkick Murphys and basically it’s a one-take in the rehearsal studio deal so it wouldn’t be very fair to nit-pick against the two proper studio releases. So how do the new band sound you ask? Well, the familiar - banjo - tin whistle – accordion – sound is still there making the trade mark Blood or Whiskey racket but the band are playing much harder then before. It’s as if though they have changed from being a traditional band playing punk to a punk band playing trad. Dugs tries hard on vocals to pull of the Barney Murray voice but sounds too strained. Hopefully the vocal chords improve when they get to the recording studio proper.

The Electrics: Irish Invasion
This 2001 compilation revisits two of the Electrics earlier and more obscure efforts -- their second release BIG SILENT WORLD (1993) and their follow-up THE WHOLE SHEBANG (1995). While it would seem to be a laudatory effort to unearth these forgotten songs, this, frankly, is a hastily conceived compilation with little consideration given to the quality of song. For instance, of the 12 tracks contained here a whopping eight were culled from the less polished, more pedestrian sounding BIG SILENT WORLD, while a mere four were taken from what might still be their finest effort, the Buddy Miller produced, THE WHOLE SHEBANG. Furthermore, it’s practically criminal to think that perhaps their greatest, most rollicking song “Killicrankie” (from SHEBANG) was omitted. Thankfully Pila Music included their rendition of the Violent Femmes “Oh My (Jesus Walking on the Water).” Still, if you’re vaguely familiar with the Electrics but haven’t heard their early material, this collection serves as a suitable (but not ideal) introduction to their formative period when their development from album to album was quite evident.

Review By Dave Sleger

The Kissers: Fire in the Belly
One of the most pleasant surprises in the first half of ’04 is the debut studio release by Madison’s the Kissers. Drawing equally from traditional Irish and American folk music as well as smarmy, melodic alternapop, they come across as an extension of (and perhaps a more focused) Boiled in Lead. With a bulk of their melodies emanating from instruments like fiddle, banjo, accordion and mandolin the folk component is duly addressed but the driving rhythm section and strategic electric guitar adornments affirms the modern rock affinities of this group. “69 Cadillac” is a prime example of the Kissers as a killer Blasters-styled rock & roll band while “American Folk Song” and “Scum of America” firmly places this band amongst the more clever and innovative of the modern folk-rock brigade. A thoroughly enjoyable recording FIRE IN THE BELLY rivals the eclectic recordings offered up by Reptile Palace Orchestra, (another Madison-based outfit) as some of the most original music emanating from the state of Wisconsin.

Review By Dave Sleger

The Saw Doctors: Live in Galway
It’s a risky proposition when a band with a reputation as an exceptional concert act decides to release a live album. Will the dynamics transfer onto CD? Will the audience participation and enthusiasm contribute to or detract from the recording? Having had the privilege of seeing the Saw Doctors in concert at roughly the same time as receiving this CD I must conclude that the live show is preferable to the live CD but not by much. Touching on all of their popular songs, LIVE IN GALWAY’s home audience is probably most familiar with the songs of the Saw Doctors. In addition to the crowd’s approval and familiarity with the songs, lead singer Davy Carton appears to be equally stoked and enjoying the event. His good-natured giggling escapes throughout the show, particularly in the opening tracks “N17,” “To Win Just Once” and “Bless me Father” indicating that this band truly enjoys performing and appreciates their fans. Noticeably absent are any selections from their most recent studio album VILLAINS? For some reason that album didn’t seem to connect with the same passion as earlier recordings. As usual guitarist Leo Moran carries the tunes with his nonchalant yet deft style of playing. Making his recording debut on bass guitar is new member and ex-Waterboy Anthony Thistlethwaite. With clear and well-balanced sound this CD is indeed the next best thing to being there

Review By Dave Sleger

Lehto & Wright: A Game of Chess
From Minneapolis Lehto & Wright are consummate purveyors of classic British and Celtic folk-rock championed by such luminaries as Fairport Convention, Horslips and Steeleye Span. On this, their third offering, they more specifically pay homage to folk guitarist Martin Carthy and rocker Richard Thompson. Steve Lehto’s inspired and meticulous playing makes him the ideal musician to handle both the acoustic and electric genius of Carthy and Thompson respectively. Bassist John Wright’s lightening-fast yet fluid playing revives the spirit of classic rock bassists like Chris Squire, Dave Pegg and even John Paul Jones. His heartfelt playing is the perfect fit for Lehto’s rock & roll and acoustic roles. “Siege of Delhi” and “The Silver Tip/the Merry Tailor/Thompson’s Reel” are stellar examples of this duo’s ability to rock as convincingly as their ‘70s mentors while the gentle pieces like Carthy’s “McVeagh” and Lehto’s “Antietam” reveals their impressive versatility. The 15-minute “Ten Long Years” is a progressive folk-rock tour de force as it includes instrumental passages that recall Steve Hackett and Led Zeppelin among others. Drummer Matt Jacobs rounds out their sound helping to give Letho & Wright a full but not overbearing presence. If Tempest, Fairport and classic Jethro Tull are to your liking A GAME OF CHESS should satisfy.

Review By Dave Sleger

Polkaholics: Six-Pack
This six song EP is the fourth independent release by this Chicago trio. It’s comprised of previously unreleased material performed in the unmistakable and unapologetic punk/polka style of the Polkaholics. Heavy on electric guitars and 2/4 rhythm, this ain’t no joke. The punk and roadhouse adaptation of traditional and original polkas have become their trademark and surprisingly they’ve endeared themselves to mainstream polka fans as well as punk and alternative rock fans. Guitarist Don Hedeker and friends are rapidly making a name for themselves throughout the Midwest and beyond. To sum up their sound imagine the Ramones performing “Who Stole the Kishka,” "Happy Wanderer" and "In Heaven There Is No Beer" on just guitar, bass and drums. Yeah, this is polka but it’s rock & roll as well. Like Brave Combo, the Polkaholics will shatter all narrow, preconceived notions dealing with polka’s inherent “un-hipness.”

Review By Dave Sleger

Joe Hurley: Live At Loser's Lounge
Joe McGinty and the Kustard Kings join Rogues March front man Joe Hurley to celebrate 10 years of show at “The Losers Lounge” and to pay tribute to some of the finest 70’s Rock’n’Roll ever recorded – Bowie’s “Rock’n’Roll Suicide”, Costello’s “I Want You”, “Maggie May” and more. It’s all very “Exile on Main Street” sounding - boozy and sleazy. The Quireboys would kill to come up with something as authentic and with as much feel as this.

Bovver Brigade: Demo
Sweden’s Bovver Brigade have big pairs of Doc. Martins and even bigger Mohawks and who play catchy sing-a-long, shout-it-out street punk. Similar to my ears as “Boys on the Docks” era Dropkick Murphys, Stiff Little Fingers or the Street Dogs.

The songs on their 8 track demo are strong and the recording quality good and it’s nice to see the bands doesn’t take themselves to seriously as well. Shite’n’Onions types will enjoy the token Irish song, “Whiskey Day, Whiskey Night” with its off key tin whistle (recorder?) and the “Pirate Song.”

Across the Border: Was Bleibt (The Best of Across the Border, 1991-2002)
This two-disc set is the swan song for one of Germany’s most talented folk- punk outfits, Across the Border. Featuring an intense rhythm section, AtB derives most of their melody from accordion and fiddle with electric guitar tastefully complimenting their sound when needed. This collection judiciously samples their many releases from 1995’s HAG SONGS through 2000’s SHORT SONGS, LONG FACES. The most frequently represented album (with eight tracks) is CRUSTY FOLK MUSIC FOR SMELLY PEOPLE, which is no surprise because it is arguably their finest effort. Additionally, several previously unreleased tracks are included, the finest being “Glad to Know” and “Chasing the Tail.” The only obvious omission to this retrospective, in my opinion, is their fiery rendition of Simon & Garfunkel’s “The Boxer.” If you enjoy melodic folk-punk coupled with issues oriented lyrics a la The Levellers or Oysterband, Across the Border will be to your liking.

Review By Dave Sleger

Fiddler’s Green: NU Folk
Like Lady Godiva and Across the Border (both reviewed in Shite ‘n’ Onions) Fiddler’s Green is another of Germany’s well-kept secrets in the realm of folk-rock and Celtic-rock. Having recorded steadily since 1992 NU FOLK is their ninth full-length album and is characterized by (what’s become their formula of) cleverly recreating traditional pieces coupled with infectious original alterna-folk-pop songs in a manner like Great Big Sea. Unlike the previous two German bands listed, Fiddler’s Green’s music is much more polished, as is their CD packaging. Very slick indeed. I’ve always preferred their treatment of traditional material and on NU FOLK there are several such songs to choose from. Among the best are “Tarry Trousers” which employs an Eastern meets hard rock vibe and “Johnson Boys/Cotton-Eyed Joe,” two American folk songs given new life courtesy of this group from Erlangen. Curious readers are well advised to also listen to Fiddler’s Green’s first three albums FIDDLER’S GREEN (1992), BLACK SHEEP (1993) and KING SHEPHERD (1995) for a delightful trio of punk, ska and Celtic infused folk-rock recordings.

Review By Dave Sleger

Brave Combo: Polkasonic / Kick-Ass Polkas
After an impressive body of work with the Rounder Records label this esoteric polka-infused ska, Tex-Mex and all around pioneering punky, worldbeat band signed to Cleveland International for a one-off, POLKASONIC. And after years of wowing the initiated with their virtuosity and eclecticism, Brave Combo finally received the recognition they deserved when in 1999 this album earned them a Grammy in the polka category. While this album perhaps stresses the polka more than previous efforts, Brave Combo is much more than “just a polka band.” Combining Latino, European and American folk with polka and alternative rock rhythms has garnered them a devout, yet varied fan base. Their electrified polka is best exemplified on “Apples, Peaches, Pumpkin Pie” and “Purple Haze – The Jimi Hendrix Polka,” the latter being yet another example of guitarist Carl Finch’s knack for reworking rock classics to fit their offbeat template. After a lone recording for Rounder in 2000 Brave Combo returned the following year to release a second title for Cleveland International, KICK-ASS POLKAS. Recorded live in Cleveland this recording revisits many of the tried and true Combo tunes of yore like “Hey Baba Reba” and “Flying Saucer.” And in expected fashion they tackle the classics again with a revved up rendition of “Wooden Heart.” The strength of this band is their ability to attract both polka aficionados and those who would never otherwise admit to enjoying this much-maligned form of music. These two releases are an excellent introduction to this Texas-based group and if your preconceived notion of modern day polka is less than lukewarm perhaps Brave Combo can change that.

Review By Dave Sleger

Black 47: New York Town
Granddaddies of the whole Celtic-Rock scene in the US, B47 are back with their first studio album in 5 years – since the disappointing “Trouble in the Land.” “New York Town”, is Larry Kirwin’s attempt to compose a musical picture of his adopted home town, pre and post 9-11. I know on the sleeve Larry mentions Joyce and Ulysses and asks not to be compared but I do see a strong comparison in concept to Joyce’s “Dubliners” - a collection of unrelated short stories set in the general vicinity of a city (Dublin) in and around the same period of time, touching on the lives of ordinary people. On “New York Town”, like Joyce, Kirwin paints a picture of the lives of real people – the hero’s, the villains and working stiffs that make NYC the greatest city on the earth. Musically, NYT is B47s least “Irish” sounding release. B47 have always been the sound of the Irish ghettos of Queens and the Bronx sticking its toes into the pool of ethnic sounds of the rest of the city. But on NYT, B47 have taken that plunge head first and enveloped themselves in the sounds of the city as a whole. The additions of guests like David Johansen (New York Dolls) and Christine Ohlman adds some spice to the mix but on the other hand highlight the weaknesses in Larry’s own voice.

The Vice Dolls: Die Trying
I hate to be negative but “Die Trying” by the Vice Dolls was one difficult CD to sit through. Think bad 80’s trash metal ala a bad version of Nuclear Assault with screeching female punk vocals crossed with punk. Not my cuppa of tea at all.

Sammy Horner: Acoustic Celtic Praisen
On this, his fifth solo outing, Electrics lead singer Sammy Horner continues in the same fashion carved out on the previous four. While the Electrics have slowly blossomed into a crack Celtic-rock outfit with declarations of faith sometimes understated, Horner’s solo albums leave little for debate. He is an unabashed Christian whose music is intended to edify and entertain the believer. That doesn’t mean that the non-believer cannot appreciate his work as he’s developed into a top-notch songwriter brimming with irresistible melodies. This album is what it is – an acoustic collection of songs of worship and praise. Several of these selections have appeared in more amplified versions on previous releases like QUAICH and T-ALLT RUADH. On this recording singer and guitarist Horner is joined by longtime Electrics member Jim Devlin on guitars and mandolin and recent Electrics addition Tim Cotterell on fiddle and all manner of acoustic instruments (mandolin, mandola, banjo, melodeon, etc.). Cotterell, incidentally, also plays with the left-leaning Tricks Upon Travellers, which must surely cause him to reconcile his beliefs in one direction or the other. Regardless, Sammy Horner and friends have created tasteful music that will hopefully appeal to those who might otherwise dismiss it as too preachy or “churchy.” As a longtime fan of Sammy Horner’s music (both solo and with the Electrics), and as one who is secure in my beliefs I am not at all hesitant to give ACOUSTIC PRAISE a categorical thumbs up.

Review By Dave Sleger

Lady Godiva: Zooperation
With the exception of groups like early Mahones, the Skels and the extraordinary Greenland Whalefishers, perhaps the finest posthumously Pogues-influenced act is this German septet, Lady Godiva. On this, their fourth release, they’ve continued their quest for a more guitar-heavy sound but not at the expense of their Irish folk affinities. Their duo-electric guitar attack is complimented nicely by mandolin, banjo, accordion and tin whistles, and other than “Peggy Lettermore” and “Springhill Disaster” they’ve written all of the songs here, most in quite convincing fashion. No small feat for a band that only a few short years ago experienced great difficulty utilizing the English language effectively. Lead singer Andreas Beckman’s German accent is quite obvious, which is to be expected, but it doesn’t hinder the listening experience in the least. While this album is highly recommended to those who enjoy Irish-influenced rock & roll, it is also recommended that one purchase Lady Godiva albums in descending order, being particularly mindful of the fact that their debut Whisky You’re the Devil contained some dubious English usage. That said, their earlier records were arguably rawer sounding and more “pub-worthy” than their 21st century releases.

Review By Dave Sleger

Amadan: Hell-Bent 4 Victory
Hell-Bent 4 Victory...I knew it was coming, I just had no idea it would be this good! What a surprize! I have to admit, I haven't seen Amadan in quite awhile, so I had no idea what was in store for me when I first played the album. The sound is much more full on "Hell-Bent 4 Victory." In fact, the album sounds nothing like their debut release: "Sons Of Liberty." Somewhere down the line, The Amadan guys decided to plug in a guitar, and turn the volume up. They also added a full drum kit, a little bit o' banjo, and some squeezebox action to their sound. It's amazing to hear how much they've grown from their debut album to now.Truth be told, I've been listening to it for a full week, and can't wait to see them live again. (They'll be opening up for The Real McKenzie's next month.)

The entire album is solid, from track 1 all the way to 12. Don't believe me? go check out the Amadan website! Click on the two minute samples and you'll soon be in complete agreement with me. Ten bucks says you'll say "holy shit" at least once, possibly twice, and if not I still won't pay up because i'll know you're lying! I've been trying to decide which songs stand out more than others, and it took me while, considering all of them are equally as good. I like the upbeat "Nevr 9to5" or the guest vocals of Paddy Buckley (f/Grafton Street & The Pagan Jug Band) on the semi-traditional "Paddy's Green Shamrock Shores". "Rhyme Of Remittance Man" was another standout. I also need to mention the last song on the album; "Horseshoes & Handgrenades".

So there you go, a fan-fucking-tastic album that was recorded right here in Portland. Enjoy!

Review By Brian Gillespie

Burn Witch Burn: Burn Witch Burn
Maybe this is old news, maybe not. So if you haven't heard of Burn Witch Burn, please continue to read. If you already have heard of them, give yourself a nice big ole pat on the back, and smile big like a jackass on a sugar-high, because you beat me to it. The band no longer exists. If fact this album was released back in 2000, so i'm only four years late. (Not bad, considering Shane MacGowan hasn't released a studio album in SEVEN years!) Anyway, Burn Witch Burn hails from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, and at the time of it's release, it was the newest project of Rodney Linderman. (More on him later)

In this reviewers opinion, Burn Witch Burn, sounds like they have been up in the Appalachian Mountains since the 1800's and waited for the new milleneum to come down and record the album. Picture early Americana meets Celtic flavored Gothic folk, only to be topped off by the dark, mystical vocals of Vienna Linderman. You can't help but feel the hair on your neck raise up a notch.The mandolin playing is top notch. Actually, the entire album sounds fantastic, with only one exception. Rodney Linderman's vocals. Yes, I know what you're thinking... Shite'n'Onions Webzine talking smack about a band? Well, for the record, i'm not talking smack at all. I'm just explaining to you that I'm so used to the lead singers previous work in other bands. You see Rodney Linderman is probably better known as Rodney Anonymous, from The Dead Milkmen! That's right, The Dead Milkmen. Let me go on to tell you that Burn Witch Burn doesn't contain any lyrics about smoking bananna peels, and it doesn't mention anything about things that only eat hippies, (Great song by the way) but that's the problem. After listening to The Dead Milkmen for so many years, I keep expecting Rodney to suddenly go off and start talking about big lizards in his backyard. Don't let this stop you from checking these guys out! There are some incredicle tracks on this album. It's worth a serious look to those of you who enjoy some original music.

Review By Brian "Bitchin' Camero" Gillespie

Polkaholix: Denkste!
First of all it must be noted that this band should not be confused with the Chicago-based band similarly dubbed the Polkaholics. Surprisingly both bands play roughly the same type of music – which is rocked up polkas sometimes bordering on punk. This German outfit from Berlin is more esoteric than their Windy City counterpart. With an emphasis on brassy arrangements the Polkaholix sneak Klezmer, gypsy, Cajun and Celtic influences into their polkas, in a manner not unlike that of the Texan eclectics, Brave Combo. Sung exclusively in German the lyrics don’t necessarily need to be understood in order to appreciate this group’s energy and impeccable musicianship.

Review By Dave Sleger

Novi Sad: Europe’s Other Side
After more than a decade of proffering quirky and arty pop-rock (with a hint of psychedelia in recent years) Austria’s Novi Sad switched gears with their sixth release, Europe’s Other Side. This largely acoustic collection of original modern folk songs is characterized by the exotic voice of Evelyn Blumenau (who at times resembles Dolores O’Riordan) and Klaus Schuch’s poignant songwriting and deft guitar playing. Drummer Manfred Scharf is featured, more often than not, on accordion contributing immensely to the overall mood of this album. At times the lyrics are impossibly dense, thus difficult to grasp, other times they are beautiful in their stark simplicity. For instance, rarely has a more tangible sound coupled with a graphic visual been created than on the haunting title track. It gives the listener a true glimpse into the underbelly of deep Eastern Europe. This album contains moments both moving and jarring and sometimes overly simplistic in content. Quite frankly, it also contains confusing moments that seem to make little musical or lyrical sense. In context, however, this is a well-crafted and artistic piece of work that should satisfy those looking for more plaintive and reflective qualities in modern folk music.

Review By Dave Sleger

The Sandcarvers: This Time Around
From Southeastern Wisconsin the Sandcarvers perform classic-styled rock infused with Celtic adornments. Much like Wolfstone, Brother and perhaps Tempest on a bad day, the Sandcarvers are clearly a rock band injected with subtle bodhran, recorder and guitar accents to suggest the Celtic-rock designation. They do provide interesting takes on traditional pieces “Drowsy Maggie” and “Danny Boy.” The latter begins in expected syrupy fashion but quickly morphs into an upbeat fresh take on that infinitely overdone folksong. The best original piece is “Old Man” which begins with a didgeridoo introduction by Hamish (of the band Brother) and is accompanied by an infectious recorder refrain. The Sandcarvers are a decent rock band but if they want to make a greater impact on the sub-genre known as Celtic-rock they’d be wise to add another instrumentalist like a fiddler or accordionist and do away with the electronically reproduced bagpipe and harp sound.

Review By Dave Sleger

Nivola: The Easy EP
Nivola (sounds like a bloody girlie shampoo eh?) are a 3 piece indie rock band from Bray, Co. Wicklow Ireland. The dirtiest town in Ireland, or so they claim, but that's a disputed title if ever there was one. In the short period of time the band have been together (8 months or so) they've managed to make it out to the Whisky-a-go-go in LA and supported Brooks Waterman of Bad Religion and produce this excellent demo. "The Easy EP" is 3 tracks of old school alternative rock, huge slabs of sonic guitars juxtaposition with some laid back jazz sounds and powerful vocals - the kind of stuff that used to come out of Ireland so regularly before the Celtic Tiger came along a gave birth to a bunch of bastard boy-band cubs. Maybe this is the start of the cull.

The Electrics: EP/Radio Singles
Kind of a Cliff Notes guide to The Electrics here, with five tracks spanning the history of the band. Four being from the more straight ahead rock’n’reel days, including the very beautiful spiritual ballad “The Blessing”, kind of like Clapton, but good. Along with one cranked up, Big Country, meets The Sex Pistols, meets Slade masterpiece – “At All”, from the forthcoming CD, “Old, New Borrowed and Green”. If the remainder of the CD is anything like “At Al” and “Killiecrankedup” from the S’n’O CD then it will be a must get.

Far from Finished: 3 Track Demo
Very strong street rock from Boston based Far from Finished, reminiscent of early DKM, Swingin’ Utters and especially the Street Dogs. The Street Dogs comparison is especially relevant as the demo was produced by ex-Street Dog guitarist Rob Guidotti. Guidotti has subsequently join FFF as a permanent member.

Neck: Here’s Mud In Yer Eye!
I going to keep this quick as everything on “Here’s Mud In Yer Eye!” has previously been covered in Shite’n’Onions. Basically Neck have taken the best of the “Necked” CD plus the “Field of Athenry” single and a couple of newies (“Spancil Hill” and “To Win Just Once” – by the Sawdoctors!!!), remastered the shit out of them and release it over in Germany on the Core-Tex label. The sound is top notch and its the best thing Neck has done to date. Recommended, if you can get your hands on it.

Daghdha: Start of the Mile -Demo
I wasn’t expecting much from this demo, judging the book by the cover – home made sleeve, CDR disk and pictures of a bunch of very young looking guys. So when I finally slapped the disk into my CD player and hit play, I was very pleasantly surprised. “Start of the Mile” is top notch straight ahead no frills Celtic-Punk, very reminiscent the classic St. Bushmill’s Choir EP from a few years ago – you know the sound; The Clash playing the Pogues, check out the cover of “London Calling”- good stuff – Joe Strummer would have been proud.

Jackdaw: Jackdaw
You might remember a live review I did of Jackdaw a few months back, where basically I said I had heard them on CD, wasn’t that impressed and moved on. Live, Jackdaw kicked my ass big time so now it’s time to give the CD another spin and another listen. Two spins and I’m impressed, four and I’m hooked. This thing is as infectious as a Chinese hooker with SARS. Jackdaw play Stones, Who and especially early AC/DC (I’m talking about “High Voltage” and “Dirty Deeds”) inspired rock’n’roll and combine it with fiddle and Bagpipes and the lyrical imagery of the gritty, working class Irish-American enclave of South Buffalo, NY. Outstanding tracks include – Molly, Billy Brown, Hogjaw and Patrick Pearse’s - Mise Erie (I am Ireland.) An excellent CD and a still better live show if you get the chance.

Street Dogs / The Dents: Split CD/7”
Abbey Lounge Records is a spin off label of The Abbey Lounge, a dive venue in Somerville, MA that helped launch Street Dogs. Street Dogs contribute 2 tacks, “Savin Hill”, which in my opinion is an absolute punk classic (if punk can be classic that is) and the previously unreleased “One of a kind”, which is good. Female fronted The Dents provide the other 2 tracks of high energy punk’n’roll.