Review: Sinful Maggie – S/T (2018)

So, we at Mersey Celt Punks have been waiting for an album from Sinful Maggie for what feels like an eternity even if they set out to be a band with an accordion that does not play folk, gypsy or celtic punk. That aside good music is good music so of course we are interested.

Formed in 2014 have been gradually building a fan base this 4-piece from Dorset recently seem to be getting noticed on a wider scale and this year will be playing Fuelled By Cider’s Cursus Festival and Boomtown Fair as well as shows with The Rumjacks and Matilda’s Scoundrels.

March 2018 saw the release of there long awaited self-titled album with is 11 tracks of fast fun punk rock with accordion (not folk punk). Not to say fans of folk punk wont enjoy it just that its much more punk orientated think Street Dogs instead of Dropkick Murphy and you will be heading in the right area.
The overall sound is very similar to Rancid around the time of “Lets Go!” (1994) with element of punk, ska and rock blended together to give an incredibly unique sound that will allow you to easily identify Sinful Maggie. If Sinful Maggie are following the style of Rancid then the follow up to “Lets Go!” is my favourite album of all time “…and out come the wolves” (1995) so no pressure there then.

So, there is quite a clear Rancid influence, but they are one of the biggest punk bands ever its hard not to be. It’s a whole different thing to be able to pull of a similar sound then make it your own. Well that is exactly what Sinful Maggie have done.
The sound of the accordion will always make me want to grab a cutlass and head for the seas. However, this is not your cliché pirate punk this is more like what punk would sound like if pirates invented it.

“Take Out the Sun” and “Rock and Roll Prowess” are the perfect opening kicking in full speed and showing off what each of the band bring individually to make up Sinful Maggie.

Well I was not expecting anything with a psychobilly feel to it but listening to “Long Walk Home” and “Zyklon B.” All they are missing is the slap on a double bass and they could have been on a Creepshow Album.

The album also goes a bit of ska, another good reason to pick it up. (sorry) “Mr Know It All” and “Everyone I Need” are a great change from the general pace of the album sounding like a cross between Operation Ivy and The Toasters. With fast upstrokes and the accordion taking the place of a what would normally be an organ in a lot of ska bands making it a wonderfully unique change. Hopefully Vic Ruggerio (The Slackers) will try it out one day.

My favourite track for this was a tough one because of the variety in musical styles though out the album but after a while I have settled on “Rebel Without a Cause”. It starts with a bass line that Matt Freeman would be proud of then kicks in full force and throws an undeniable passion direct to your ears.

The album finishes with “Nature of Man” a full on punk rock assault against humanity. Changing pace multiple times in a nofx-esque manner, live I am sure ready to give your final reserves of energy to the band and a fantastic way to end, no fading out all about going out screaming.

Sinful Maggie have so much variety within their music, crossing multiple genres and still managing to maintain a strong punk core. If you like punk rock in anyway there is something on this album for you. A serious must buy!

– Elliott, Mersey Celt Punks

FFO: Rancid, Street Dogs, The Briggs, Roughneck Riot

Buy the album:
https://itunes.apple.com/gb/album/sinful-maggie/1363162338

Long Walk Home live video:

Sinful Maggie
https://www.facebook.com/sinfulmaggie/
https://twitter.com/sinfulmaggie?lang=en

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Review: Krakin’ Kellys – Promised Land (2018)

So Belgium, not the first place I think of when it comes to celtic punk but now that I have heard “Promise Land” the debut album from Krakin’ Kelly I will be looking that way a lot more often.

album-promised-land

This 6-piece describe blend skate punk seamlessly with traditional Irish inspired melodies to create a celtic punk masterpiece that sounds as tight as any of the more established bands within the genre who have worked for years / decades on honing their sound. If they are this good on their first album the second cannot come quick enough.

“Promised Land” will fit perfectly into the music collection between Dropkick Murphy’s and Paddy and the Rats. With great punk riffs, bagpipes, accordion and awesome vocals with instant sing along lyrics Krakin’ Kellys have created everything I want from a band and more.

I listened to the album knowing nothing about the Krakin’ Kellys so for the first 17 seconds of “Anarchy in the Double K” I thought I had a new trad. Celtic album on then it kicked in and went full speed ahead for the next 45 ish minutes.

Its so hard to pick favourite songs in an album this consistently good but the title track “Promised Land” must be right up there. Dropping down to just drums, bass and vocals for the verses then sounding absolutely massive when it goes back to the full band for the choruses. It maybe that the prominent accordion makes it sound a bit like “Time to Go” by Dropkick Murphy’s that it first stood out to me but, it’s the fact that it’s a great song that makes you want to dance is why it will stick.

Tracks like “United” “When I Die” and “One Way” have a strong street punk almost Oi! feel to them while still maintain a strong celtic influence creating songs that would fit in nicely into any Flatfoot 56 album.

I mentioned a similarity to Paddy and the Rats earlier based upon the pirate / sea shanty punk feel on songs like “Our Pride”, “The Journey” and “Hey Bro” just with a slightly more aggressive approach.  To quote their website The Krakin Kellys have “angry microphones and greasy bass lines meet bagpipes, flutes and accordion for a drunken party which will leave everyone pumped up!” and I couldn’t agree more. Anyone fancy a trip to Belgium? I want to join this party!

Overloaded with passion creating instant classics that make you want to sing and dance the night away. “Promised Land” should push Krakin’ Kellys to stand tall amongst some of the celtic punk legends for hopefully a long time to come.  No disappointment guarantee on this one!

The bar for best albums in 2018 has been set very high with this going to take a lot to beat it.

Elliott, Mersey Celt Punks

FFO: Dropkick Murphys, Flatfoot 56, Paddy and the Rats

 

Anarchy in the Double K Video:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9IbDGtswvBw

 

Promised Lands Video:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gFskW0uk28o

 

One way video:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=l6n_dAYisAU

 

 

Krakin Kellys:

https://www.facebook.com/krakinkellys/

http://www.krakinkellys.com/#home

 

Us:

https://www.facebook.com/merseyceltpunks/

https://www.twitter.com/merseyceltpunks/

 

 

 

Review: Alternative Ulster – Pog Mo Thoin (2018)

This year sees the second album from New York 3-piece Alternative Ulster. “Pog Mo Thoin” despite line-up changes still manages to pick up from where “Rebellion” (2016) left off with 13 tracks of straight up in your face old school punk rock with bagpipes.

alternative-ulster

Alternative Ulster have a much more aggressive approach than a lot of other celtic punk bands out there, but with such a strong hardcore scene in New York it must be hard not to pick up on it a bit. Either way it makes them stand out from the crowd and forces you to pay attention.

My favourite track from the album is a close tie between “Drunk as Fuck” and “Free Beer Tomorrow”. Equal doses of cynicism, irony and humour to give create incredibly entertaining songs.

The album drops from its stomping pace twice and shows off a completely different sound for the band. The first time is for the cover of “Paddy’s Green Shamrock Shore” which is simply brilliant and showcase a versatility to the band. The second time is on the closing track “Sgt. McKenzie” the only track to contain only bagpipes and vocals. It has a wonderfully haunting quality that must be heard to be fully understood but if you don’t feel instantly transported on the highlands of Scotland I would suggest that you go get your ears checked.

Unfortunately, the album does not feature Alternative Ulster’s St Patricks Day Song “On St Patrick’s Day I Spilt Upon my Kilt” a tongue in cheek re working of the 12 days of Christmas but if you fancy a listen.

https://alternativeulster1.bandcamp.com/track/on-st-paddys-day-i-spilt-upon-me-kilt

Short, abrasive to the point songs to drink to with your mates, just like punk rock should be! If you think Dead Kennedy’s / Adolescents with bagpipes you wont be far off. Out Now!

Well if you don’t like it “Pog Mo Thoin” Pog Mo Thoin!

  • Elliott, Mersey Celt Punks

https://www.facebook.com/bagpiperockandroll/

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Review: In For A Penny – Sometimes its Better to Not (2018)

Great news for all involved that Georgia Folk Punk band In for a Penny’s 2017 release “One More Last Hurrah!” Was not the last hurrah for the band and they are back with a new e.p.

March 2018 sees the release of 4 track release “Sometimes its Better to Not.”

ifap

Heavily routed in celtic music but moving away slightly from the punk side of things that could be heard in “One More Last Hurrah!” (which featured in our best albums of 2017) and towards a cleaner rock sound whilst still sounding like the In For A Penny you know and love.

“ ‘Fore the devil” features more prominent bass and rounds off the usual In For a Penny sound and the low end that really sets the pace of the track. When this is combined with warm and gravelly vocals of Sean McNally gives it a fantastic classic punk feel that wouldn’t be out of place on a Stooges album.

“Dancin’ with the stars” is of a slower pace than the band usually do. Its has a hint of folky Americana and seems to build as the song progresses and creates such an impressively big sound that you would think would need significantly more band members.

The main riff from “Broken” has been stuck in my head for a few days now and is showing no sign of leaving. The drums and vocals control the track for the best part as the other guitar and mandolin are used sparsely. It feels like a great song to open a set with, creating a huge atmosphere that keeps the crowd waiting just that little bit longer before they can really get dancing.

That feeling of anticipation I get when listening to “Broken” may just be because the final track on the e.p. “Your Claddagh Heart” featuring Johnny Piper from Alternative Ulster on Bagpipes ( https://www.facebook.com/bagpiperockandroll/ ) is my new favourite song by In for a Penny. A genuinely beautiful dedication from Sean to his wife that I would not be surprised if it used as a first dance for a lot of people in the future. Just listen to it, love it then listen to it again.

( http://inforapennymusic.com/claddagh/ )

The only negative I have is that it is over too quickly.

In For a Penny are securing themselves a firm position within the celtic punk genre with back to back high quality releases that keep you coming back for more. I really can not get enough of the is band and to quote their own lyrics back to them to make my own point, “when I said I love you, I meant forever.”

Sometimes its better to not is out on the 17th March 2018 you’re in for a treat!

– Elliott, Mersey Celt Punks.

http://inforapennymusic.com/

https://www.facebook.com/inforapennymusic/

One More Last Hurrah Review:

https://merseyceltpunks.wordpress.com/2017/12/05/71/

Top 10 Albums of 2017:

https://merseyceltpunks.wordpress.com/2017/12/08/mcp0005-folk-punk-album-of-the-year-2017/

Come say hello:

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Review: Rumahoy – The Triumph of Piracy (2018)

Welcome to the Sea!!!

Let’s start by saying I don’t listen to a lot of metal and until very recently thought the genre of pirate metal was used just for describing Alestorm. In great news there are quite a few bands flying the Jolly Roger high for pirate metal across the world.

Today (9th Feb 2018) see the debut release of “The Triumph of Piracy” by North Carolina 4 piece Rumahoy on Napalm Records.

rumahoy

The Triumph of Piracy is just that a triumph! The album seamlessly blends heavy metal with classic sea shanties and a whole lot of rum. Imagine if you will Lamb of God and Hans Zimmer working together and you wont be far off.

Rumahoy as a band have a sound much bigger and complex than you would ever think possible for a 4 piece with a classic thrashy metal back bone finished off with a screaming guitars and tales of both the classic and modern day pirate.

The stand out tracks from the album are for me personally the first single “Forest Party” (video link below) and “Huffman, The Pirate King” which are probably the least heavy songs on the album and closest to traditional pirate music with a polka / sea shanty feeling to both of them.

My favourite song from the album will have to be “Netflix and Yarr” a ballad of the life of a pirate not being what it used to be and the struggles of being a pirate in a modern world. Just brilliant.

The biggest shock when listen through was when the track “Pirateship” came on and I was convinced that my pc had decided it wanted a change from Pirate Metal for a bit and decided that 90’s euro techno would be a better choice, but no it was still Rumahoy. Sang almost entirely in what I think is German (I speak no German, it’s a guess) “Pirateship” is a shocking piece of genius which I can see becoming an obsession as it sounds like the “Scooter goes pirate metal” album that never existed (to my knowledge).

The album finishes with the title track “The Triumph of Piracy” a 10 minute epic that if you wanted to introduce someone to pirate metal would be a great start and if they don’t like it make them walk the plank you don’t need those people in your life.

Great band cant wait to see them tonight.

Rumahoy start a UK tour tonight in Liverpool supporting Alestorm on the Piratefest Tour.

Feb 09 – Liverpool @ o2 Academy
Feb 10 – Sheffield @ Corporation (SOLD OUT)
Feb 11 – Newcastle @ Northumbria Uni
Feb 13 – Aberdeen @ Garage
Feb 14 – Glasgow @ o2 ABC
Feb 15 – Belfast @ Mandela Hall
Feb 16 – Dublin @ Tivoli
Feb 18 – Manchester @ o2 Ritz
Feb 20 – Leeds @ Stylus
Feb 21 – Norwich @ UEA LCR
Feb 22 – London @ o2 Forum
Feb 23 – Brighton @ Concorde 2 (SOLD OUT)
Feb 24 – Bristol @ Motion (SOLD OUT)
Feb 25 – Southampton @ Engine Rooms (SOLD OUT)

 

https://www.facebook.com/rumahoy/

Buy the album:

https://shop.napalmrecords.com/rumahoy-the-triumph-of-piracy-cd.html

Forest Party video:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2fgV_AnGIYY

Us:

https://www.facebook.com/merseyceltpunks

https://www.twitter.com/merseyceltpunks

 

 

Review: FEROCIOUS DOG “RED” (2017)

Ferocious Dog are arguably the outright kings of the UK folk-punk scene right now; ever since the release of their stunning self-titled debut in 2013, the Nottinghamshire boys have built an incredible career so far with their blend of sociopolitical comredmentary in the spirit of Billy Bragg with the musicianship of the legendary Levellers and the furious energy of the Pogues. What’s even more remarkable is that they’ve done it almost entirely off their own backs, endless self-promotion and crowdfunding from the legions of ‘Hell Hounds’ that are about as passionate a fanbase as you’ll find anywhere. This has resulted in some fantastic achievements so far, sell out hometown shows at the iconic Rock City venue (the first independent band to do so in its history), consistently positive reviews all over the place, and major tours with The Levellers across the UK and Europe.

They’ve now returned with their third studio album, “Red”, and while it may seem a tall task to follow 2015’s masterpiece, “From Without”, the Warsop six-piece have done it brilliantly. Unmistakably keeping their signature sound that’s worked so well, they’ve continued to develop and grow, every track sounding completely fresh. It rips along at a fair old pace, opener “Black Gold” starts with blistering mandolin backed by watertight guitar, bass and drums. “American Dream” sounds like it could easily fit onto any of the best records the Dropkicks have ever done, and “Spin” channels trad Irish folk with superb tin whistle throughout. The pace continues with “Black Leg Miner” and “Together We Are Strong”, but it’s “A & B” that showcases how this band has widened its range. A beautifully stripped-back and slower track, it’s effortlessly performed with heartfelt vocals, layered with guitar and violin that works perfectly together. The rest of the album throws you straight back into classic FD territory, including a rip-roaring cover of “Johnny I Hardly Knew Ya”, but the biggest surprise is left until the final track (if you’re not familiar with the band). “Class War” is 7 minutes of ska/reggae/folk/punk magnificence, railing against the powers-that-be and the effect it’s having on the working class. It’s got elements of Edward II in its fusion of dub and folk, with a sudden burst of straight up punkiness in the middle. It’s a brilliant closer and one that further shows that this lot could put their hands to almost anything and still be top class.

Although the entire band is supremely talented, for me there are two stand out elements. Frontman Ken Bonsall is probably the most authentic working-class voice out there right now, combining honesty and accessibility in equal measure, and up there with some of the best folk singers to ever come out of England’s towns and cities. Violinist Dan Booth, however, is the member that elevates the band’s sound above all others. In my humble opinion, he is quite possibly the best violinist in the scene, switching from bow-shredding speeds that put some punk guitarists to shame, to emotionally charged melodies that could bring a tear to the eye of the most hardened souls. All in all, this is another triumph for a band doing things the way they want to do it, and succeeding in every which way. Get this on your Christmas list, or just buy it for yourself. Either way, get listening.

  • Mike (Mersey Celt Punks)

 

Buy the album here:

http://www.ferociousdog.co.uk/music.html

https://itunes.apple.com/gb/artist/ferocious-dog/507424216

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Red-Album-Explicit-Ferocious-Dog/dp/B077R9WJPN

https://www.facebook.com/FerociousDog/

 

 

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Review: KILMAINE SAINTS “WHISKEY BLUES AND FADED TATTOO’S” (2017)

Whiskey Blues and Faded Tattoo’s is the fifth release from Pennsylvania 6 piece Kilmaine Saints. After forming in 2009 Kilmaine Saints have released album of a consistently high standard, Whiskey blues and faded tattoo’s is no exception to that.

Blending influence from traditional Irish and Scottish folk music, sea shanties and combining it with a health amount of classic rock and punk fans they fit perfectly between Dropkick Murphy’s and Flogging Molly on the musical spectrum at yet for some reason they remain under the radar by comparison. A perfect addition to anyone’s music collection.

ks

 

 

 

This 17 track monster of an album features a few reworking of tradition classic such as The Foggy Dew and No awa tae bide awa which is a beautiful, stripped down, mandolin lead change of pace but don’t worry the time to get rowdy will return momentarily.

As you may have come to expect with Kilmaine Saints the bagpipes feature quite prominently throughout the album and can be used as a marker for my favourite tracks. Not enough bands have multiple people capable of playing bagpipes to such a high standard.  I guess if you form a band as a side project to being in a drums and pipe band it should be expected.

Instant favourites from the album would have to be “Long Shot Nag”; A high intensity ceilidh song about drinking too much, gambling and poor decisions (Guess it stood out for reasons I’d rather not talk about) and “Innocent Hand” because of its pirate punk feel due to incredible violin lead mixed with gang style backing vocals and the gravelliest singing on the album.

I always like an album that you can imagine in a live setting and has been arranged similar to a set list “Idiom” is a great start with a slow intro and then kicks in full force as a command to get up and sing and dance all night until “Last Call” when you throw your arms around you friends and strangers alike ready for one last song and one more drink before you head back to reality.

With Whiskey Blues and Faded Tattoo’s, Kilmaine Saints provide the perfect soundtrack to jig the night away whilst trying to drink more than you spill. Another musical triumph!

  • Elliott (Mersey Celt Punks)

Buy the Album

http://www.kilmainesaints.com/new/Shop

 

https://www.facebook.com/TheKilmaineSaints/?ref=br_rs

https://twitter.com/kilmainesaints

 

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