Alternative Ulster – Póg Mo Thóin

Alternative Ulster – Pog Mo Thoin

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Current Lineup: John McGovern – Bagpipes, Guitar, Bass, Backing Vocals, Todd Henry – Drums & Lead Vocals

They boys hailing from Kingston, New York are out loud and proud with their latest release, Póg Mo Thóin. Per the band’s Facebook page their influences include, “The Real McKenzies, The Go Set, Pipes & Pints, Black Tartan Clan, The Dropkick Murphys, Flatfoot 56”. In case I forgot to mention it later the Go Set is hitting the Colorado Irish Fest later this summer. We are hoping Alternative Ulster can join the fest in the near future as well!

Celtic music in general is often deeply emotional to those who create and listen. Let’s first consider the fact that there are Celtic bands throughout the world. The Celts have spanned across the globe and lucky for us brought their amazing music and traditions. The Celts have also been subjected to numerous invasions by marauders and rulers alike. A Celtic man is proud kilt wearing monster who will never back down from a fight. A man who holds his country and family above all others.  He also drinks a lot and his humor makes him a friend to all around him.

Alternative Ulster reminds me of a combination of Stiff Little Fingers meets the Real McKenzies and The Rumjacks. This album is amazing blend of Celtic punk with pipes. You can feel the pipes in your soul and it may even give you the chills a bit. From tracks like “Pog Mo Thoin”, “This We Shall Defend”, and “Haggis”, you’ll wanna grab your flag and run into battle, more than likely the modern day mosh pit. If you’re out for a night on the lash, toss on “Drunk As Fuck” or “Free Beer Tomorrow”!

Who else despises Christmas time? We love our families and the time we get with them, but hate the insanity the season ensues. The boys have given us a funny little tune called “Krampus” for that. Or maybe you’re at the pub wearing your kilt and some, “Self Appointed Kilt Inspector” decides she wants a look at your Celtic goods. You know the type the banshee thinks she can a get a look without asking. She better watch out the Celt woman behind the kilt will be her own demise.

Overall I really enjoyed this album it’s fun, and most of all it’s not generic. You can feel the deep meaning this album has to the band members. They also have a brand new song out just in time for St Patrick’s Day, https://alternativeulster1.bandcamp.com/track/on-st-paddys-day-i-spilt-upon-me-kilt . You can follow them here on Facebook, https://www.facebook.com/bagpiperockandroll/ .  You can pick up the album here, https://alternativeulster1.bandcamp.com/ do it! Sláinte!

Ferocious Dog – The Red Album

I was recently turned onto Ferocious Dog by https://www.facebook.com/londonceltpunx/ and https://www.facebook.com/celtic.folkpunk/ . I owe these pages a massive amount of thanks for the introduction. I felt Ferocious Dogs deserve some US love.  As they hail from the UK it’s tough for punk bands to get across the pond. I decided a proper OI of The Red Album is a must! I’ll be reviewing the Google Play version. Sometimes not all online streamers have the same songs.​​

Black Gold – A song about England’s role in the African Slave Trade.  This is an amazing intro for the album. I was honestly a bit afraid the rest of the album may disappoint. However I was blessed as you read upon further. I love the mandolin and the fiddle. They blend in perfect sync. Have you ever thought about the lives lost, families destroyed and sheer terror brought on by slavery?

 

American Dream – Here’s the song that put Ferocious Dog on my radar. This song is definitely aimed at Donald Trump, his presidency, and the issues he should be held responsible for. The President like many before him prey upon the gullible. He is currently obliterating the American Dream or what’s left over. Our friends across the pond see him as a buffoon, as do we. “I don’t care what you say, I don’t wanna go home”.
Spin – Some great Celtic Folk Meets some awesome dark guitar riffs.  It speaks again of politicians manipulating the masses. As they spin our rebellion grows!

Black Leg Miner – This is an amazing cover of a 19th century English folk song.  I can’t help, but wonder how many lives were lost or unaccounted for in the coal mines of the world. This is great song for having a nice pint and a good think.
Together We Are Strong – A song about unity and fighting oppression. “It’s one rule for them and one rule for us”!

Together  We Are Strong – It’s in the title “It’s one rule for them and one rule for us”!

A & B – The sheer talent of this band is strong and obvious on this track. As this tune slows down in comparison to the rest, you realize the sadness. Yet it also made me feel uplifted at the same time. The use of the cello lends serious depth.
The Enemy Within – The backs of the worker have been broken for thousands of years, while the rich retain the fruits of labor. The kettle drum intros in with the fiddle, making for a brilliant marching song.

The Enemy Within – Again the fiddle shines on this track!
A Place I Want To Be – “Your campaign is in full swing, I know you’re gonna get evil on my ass, Let the mudslinging begin, we’ve all got loyal friends, they follow Facebook trends”. It seems with every election as voters we go in hoping for the best only to be extremely let down. Now we have other countries meddling in our elections? Let’s face it the 2016 US election was nothing, but a shit show. Now the biggest orange turd was elected. Let’s make this world a “Place I want to be”. Sometimes rebellion begins in places like factories, offices, and webzines.​​

Johnny I hardly Knew Ya– My all time favorite cover version!

Class War – I love the mandolin intro, mixed with a Northern Soul/Ska sound. The song speaks volumes about the rising levels of income inequality. This is by far my favorite song on the record. “Class wars are raging on the streets of England”. Although this line could be changed too easily fit anywhere in the world. The oppressed are fighting to survive. We cannot cope with rising costs of living, low wages not keeping up!

Small Town Hero– I love this one as well. Probably my second favorite track! This is about all of us growing up, doing our best, to be the good people we can. We are all just small time heroes.
In conclusion this album is a MUST download. In fact download all of their music! I’ve been listening to all of their albums on repeat. When it comes to music I generally like to keep politics out of it. I get tired of Anti Flag and Bad Religion type bands fairly quickly.  Not that I don’t love them, sometime they just lack creativity and depth. This is where Ferocious Dogs changes the spectrum. I’m giving this album a solid 10 /10.

Be sure to give them a follow here, https://www.facebook.com/FerociousDog/ . You can pick up their music on all major retailers. Be sure to buy some merch, https://www.facebook.com/FerociousDog/