Alternative Ulster – “Boobies, Banjos, Bagpipes & Beer”
Release Date: August 16, 2018
Location: Saugerties, NY
Current Lineup: (Per Facebook)
John McGovern – Bagpipes, Guitar, Bass, Banjo, Backing Vocals,
Todd Henry – Drums & Lead Vocals,
Jay Andersen – Guitar, Bass, Drums, Backing Vocals, all Recording, Mixing and Mastering
Favorite Tracks: No Queen No Crown., Crawl Back In Your Shithole, Boobies, Banjos, Bagpipes & Beer, The Sheep Pretend, and Sail Home British Soldiers.
Sounds Like: Dropkick Murphys, The Rumjacks, Born Again Heathens, Bourbon Brawlers, Flogging Molly, and The Mahones.
Do you celebrate way too much on your favorite day of the year? You might take your favorite day of the year in, let’s say excess amounts. You might be a Christmas person, decorating anything you can get your hands on. You may be into Halloween or Valentine’s Day. My day is St. Patrick’s Day. I may be what some may call a, “Plastic Patty”. My family is directly descended from the High King, Domnall mac Áedo. I of course brush the comments away and continue the celebration.
So being an Irish American punk. I am drawn to Celtic Punk and Celtic Traditional music. I’m also a firm believer in allowing any indigenous people to rule and govern themselves. Free from oppression and tyrannical rule. So when Alternative Ulster released their new record, “Boobies, Banjos, Bagpipes & Beer”. I knew right away I wanted to check it out. We loved their last release, “Pog Mo Thoin”. So let’s dig into, “Boobies, Banjos, Bagpipes & Beer”.
The first track up is, “No Queen, No Crown”. This is definitely a rebel song. Unlike Bono trying to hide behind his lyrics, these boys are proud to outright say it. This is dirty punk, with pipes! This one will get stuck in you head faster than the Brits can exit Ireland. Next up is, “Boobies, Banjos, Bagpipes & Beer”. This one is just plain old fun! Mcgovern’s pipes really shine on this one.
“The Sheep Pretend”, this one has a great guitar riff and the drums really lead the progression. “Alternative Ulster”, here’s a cover of the classic song by Stiff Little Fingers. It kicks ass! “Sail Home British Soldiers”, it’s no secret that the American colonies were not fond of the British rule. This one is spoken word. The lyrics, vocals, pipes and drums make this one my favorite on the record. The song refers to the British soldiers burning Kingston, New York.
“Bonnie Little Scott”, is a funny little tribute to ACDC’s Bon Scott. Check out the chorus here which is catchy!
“It’s a long way to the top, but not so far to fall,
When you’re drinking like a fish, and then you lose it all.
The original punk rock piper, he showed us all the way,
He was on a highway to hell, hell’s bells now he’ll play.”
“Dudlesack”, is a pipe driven chant of a good time. “Spilt Upon Me Kilt” is up next. Now this track to the tune of the “12 Days Of Christmas” and hilarious. The band is definitely having a great time on this one. “Chuck In The Fuck It Bucket”, again another one that’s hilarious. It also has more of a spoken word sound. “Countin Other’s Sins”, has great reggae/northern soul backing, with the pipes mixed in. I love the lyrics on this one.
“Calling bad behavior a religion is not a free pass,
If you hate gays and oppress women you can kiss my ass.
Choke on your wafer at your black mass.”
“McGovern’s Bar & Grill”, is up next. The lyrics make this song. It’s heartfelt and reminds this writer of his younger days. My grandfather was a tough old man with a drinking problem. Many of his issues stemmed from his fight in WWII. He could always be found down at a local pub called, “Laddies”. He would take me there when I was 5, as he was my babysitter. This may be why I love drunken nights of laughter and singing.
Next up is simple acoustic cover version of “Alternative Ulster”, by Stiff Little Fingers. It’s beautiful and well performed. Now up next is my second favorite on the track, “Crawl Back To Your Shithole”. This is a direct insult song to the president and I love it.
“Orange Julius in office,
stuffing immigrant families into coffins.
separating families while combining church and state.
Piggly wiggly combover son of a bitch,
little feet, little hands, little dick!”
Overall this album will appease any fan of Celtic Punk and punks in general. Alternative Ulster’s new album is fun, original and full punketry in motion. When you’re ready to send a boarding crowd over the deck, be sure to throw this one on!
Tracks: (Per Bandcamp)
1. No Queen, No Crown
2. Boobies, Banjos, Bagpipes & Beer
3.The Sheep Pretend
4. Alternative Ulster (Punk Cover
5. Sail Home British Soldiers
6. Bonnie Little Scott
8. Spilt Upon Me Kilt
9. Chuck In The Fuck It Bucket
10. Countin Other’s Sins
11. McGovern’s Bar & Grill