Alternative Ulster – “Boobies, Banjos, Bagpipes & Beer”

Alternative Ulster – “Boobies, Banjos, Bagpipes & Beer”

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Release Date: August 16, 2018

Format: Digital

Label: DIY

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!

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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

7. Dudlesack

8. Spilt Upon Me Kilt

9. Chuck In The Fuck It Bucket

10. Countin Other’s Sins

11. McGovern’s Bar & Grill

Links:

Walter Lure & The Waldos – Wacka Lacka Boom Bop A Loom Bam Boo

Release date: August 17, 2018

Format: Digital and physical (Available on both CD and red vinyl with reverse-board jackets! Per Bandcamp)

Label: Cleopatra Records

Location: NYC

Current Lineup:

  • Walter Lure (guitar and vocals)
  • Takanori Ichiuji (bass and vocals)
  • Tak Nakai a.k.a. Takto (guitar and vocals)
  • Joe Rizzo (drums
  • and vocals)

Favorite Tracks: Crazy Kids, Damn Your Soul, London Boys, She Doesn’t Love You Anymore, Little Black Book, and Where Were You (On Our Wedding Day

Sounds Like: The Heartbreakers, New York Dolls, Ramones, Bruce Springsteen, The Jam, Sham 69, and The Damned.


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Photo by Spencer Lloyd

In 25 years a lot can change. We’ve lost some legendary punk pioneers like, David Bowie, Steve Soto, GG Alin, most of the Ramones and sadly the list continues to grow. This leads me to Johnny Thunders and the legacy he left with his iconic sound.

Of course you’re like Ska Bones. This isn’t about Johnny Thunders and his legacy? This review is about Walter Lure and the Waldo’s. Well Yes I say on both accounts. Johnny’s unique sound left an unforgettable impression throughout the punk world.

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Walter Lure and Johnny Thunders photo by Justine Fitzpatrick

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Walter Lure and Johnny Thunders photo by Justine Fitzpatrick

From his start with the New York Dolls, Johnny aka John Anthony Genzale, was changing the face of North American rock. In my opinion punk was direct spit in the face to so called, “Pop” music. His guitar riffs and style can still be heard today through various other bands.

Per Johnny’s Wikipedia page, he formed the Heartbreakers after the New York Dolls began to have issues. Thunders formed the Heartbreakers with Jerry Nolan, Richard Hell and Walter Lure. Ratch replaced Nolan shortly after.

The Heartbreakers would go on to tour after with such acts as the Ramones, Sex Pistols and The Damned. Their popularity was stronger in Europe and there they recorded their iconic album, “L.A.M.F.”. This is one of my favorite albums of all time. They would sadly breakup shortly thereafter.

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Walter Lure and Johnny Thunders photo by Justine Fitzpatrick

Sadly we lost Johnny Thunders to a drug overdose and some people may argue foul play. Let’s fast forward 25 years later. The punk scene has changed, but the Heartbreakers have remained in our hearts. Walter Lure has picked up the pieces of the Heartbreakers to form Walter Lure and The Waldos. His new album, “Wacka Lacka Boom Bop A Loom Bam Boo” drops August 17, 2018 via Cleopatra Records.

We decided to give the record proper spin and also because it contains the introduction track, “Crazy Kids”. Per Lure, “Crazy Kids”, is about the final days of Johnny Thunders. This song will be featured in the upcoming full-length film ‘Thunders: Room 37’. So let’s go ahead and start the review here!

“Crazy Kids” starts off with an amazing drum intro. The guitar and bass soon join in. This is really a fitting tribute to Johnny Thunders. It maintains that classic punk sound with edgy and steel like riffs. This song is extremely catchy and sure to strike some nostalgia from the CBGB days.

“Damn Your Soul”, this one has some great lyrics and that steel sound from the guitar. This one really reminds me of more of an English pub rock style song. The guitar solo midway through is quite impressive. “Where Were You (On Our Wedding Day)”, is up next on the track list.

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Photo by Spencer Lloyd

This cover of Lloyd Pierce’s song is backed with trumpets. Who says trumpets don’t belong in punk rock? I’ll fight anyone who disagrees. Haha! Lure’s voice on the track really adds the needed edge to this one. “London Boys” is a cover of the original Thunders/Heartbreakers tune.

You should definitely read the history of this song over at Punk 77. This song brings a cleaner version to it, yet continues to pay tribute to Johnny. “Lazy Day”, follows it’s probably the slowest track on the record. Yet it’s catchy and fun. The chorus pushes in that classic punk sound. “Take A Chance On Me” and no this not an ABBA cover, thank God

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Photo by Spencer Lloyd

This one has more of a Pittsburg/NYC sound to it. It reminds of something Bruce Springsteen would compose. The harmonica sends the message of power, but sends in the sexy. The chorus is almost addictive. “Wham Bam Boo”, keeps the harmonica style from the last song. The drums are really prominent on this one. Is Walter Lure really the Wanderer? I kid of course.

“Bye Bye Baby”, is up next on the record. The lyrics make this a great anti love song. The guitar chords and progressions are remarkable. This is probably my favorite next to “Crazy Kids”.

“Bye Bye Baby,

I ain’t that crazy,

I know that it’s time to go,

I ain’t that lazy,

You’ll be the first to know”

“She Doesn’t Love You Anymore”, this one has melodies reminiscent of the Ramones. Considering Lure worked with The Ramones on their albums ‘Subterranean Jungle’ (1983), ‘Too Tough To Die’ (1984) and ‘Animal Boy’ (1986) this sounds fantastic.

 

“Little Black Book, comes next with a kick ass opening bass line. This song has sort of a jazzy southern/City Of Steel sound to it. The combination of the bass, guitar riffs, harmonica, and saxophone contribute to this blues like anthem. “Don’t Mess With Cupid”, comes ripping back to set the album tone. The trumpets in the background, along with the background vocals push the progression along. This one is catchy and fun jam.

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Photo by Spencer Lloyd

Now let’s talk a cover song. The classic song, “You Talk To Much”, by Joe Jones, gets a proper cover treatment from Walter Lure And The Waldo’s. This version sounds almost like some kinda rockabilly sock hop version. The sax comes in blasting to join the popular melody. Lure has definitely made this song his own.

 

In conclusion I am absolutely honored that CPRA received this review. This album pays tribute to Thunders, while proving Walter Lure is still an absolute punk icon. Lure has compiled a record that will appeal to old and new punks alike. Be sure to hit that preorder button on this one!

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Track List

  1. Crazy Kids
  2. Damn Your Soul
  3. Where Were You (On Our Wedding Day) (Lloyd Price cover)
  4. London Boys  (Thunders/Heartbreakers Cover)
  5. Lazy Day
  6. Take A Chance On Me
  7. Wham Bam Boo
  8. Bye Bye Baby
  9. She Doesn’t Love You
  10. Little Black Book
  11. Don’t Mess With Cupid (New York Dolls cover)
  12. You Talk Too Much (Joe Jones cover)

Links:

Blinding Eye Dog – “R’Lyeh Wasn’t Built In A Decade, Hon!”

Release date: July 4, 2018

Format: Digital and physical

Label: Bad Taco Records

Location: Baltimore, MD

Current Lineup: Per Facebook

Ron “Elvistopholes” Clark – Vocals and Latex Modeling;

Sean “Rev. Von Horrorsin” Harrison – Drums and Baby Making;

Bugsy “Dr. Pervert West” Bryant – Guitar and Heavy Drinking;

“The Goatman”, Jude Iscariot – Guitar and Prison Stories;

Nick the Genie – Bass and jumping around

Favorite Tracks: Puppet Massacre, Baltimore Lean, Call of Cthulhu, Seed, Stupidville USA,

Sounds Like: Black Flag, Minor Threat, The Exploited, FEAR, The Damned, Circle Jerks, The Cramps, New York Dolls, Dead Kennedys


 

Blinding Eye Dog – “R’Lyeh Wasn’t Built In A Decade, Hon!”

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When writing album reviews sometimes I have the hardest time aligning a band with a certain genre. There are so many different genres of punk these days. It actually makes my job somewhat difficult. There’s post punk, hardcore, horror punk, pop punk, skate punk, and etc. Most people, not all have their own favorite genres.  My favorite genre is more of a classic sound like the Clash or The Damned.

So what happens when you find a band that combines so many different genres? You get Baltimore punks, Blinding Eye Dog! Their latest album, “R’Lyeh Wasn’t Built In A Decade, Hon” dropped on the 4th of July. This album struck me. I really wasn’t prepared for the onslaught of different genres.  Lately we’ve had our fair share of hardcore and pop punk.

So let’s check out some of my favorites from the album. “Icenian Queen” starts off the album with a horror punk sound. It reminds me a bit off the Damned’s, “Machine Gun Etiquette”. It has a great classic sound, with ripping shreds on guitar. “StupidVille USA, is next up on the track list.

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This song has a powerful message and sadly defines the state of the American union. How many bad things in small towns are swept under the rug? I really enjoy the progression and drums on this one. “Feel The Bern”, is up next. This song has a more hardcore edge to it and it kicks ass!

“Baltimore Lean”, a little slower, yet still has somewhat of a steely sound on bass. This one has some catchy lyrics to it and sounds a little like the New York Dolls. “Puppet Massacre’ is up next. This would be my favorite on the album. It’s more on the horror punk side. It has a kick ass guitar intro and wicked vocals.

 

“Tom Otter’s Lane”, is up next on the track list. This song sounds very Black Flag influenced. It fast and heavy. There’s a sweet little guitar shred towards the end. “ I Can’t Believe It’s Not Haggis”, rolls the album on. This one really sounds like a Cramps song at the intro. See where I’m going with this?

“Call of Cthulhu”, is up next on the album. This would be my second favorite song. This one has more of a Dead Kennedy’s sound. It’s catchy and drums pound. This one is a crazy pit waiting to happen. “Frankenhooker” comes in with a Dead Boys like sound. The lyrics are funny, better watch out for the Frankenhooker!

“Bong of Cthulhu”, well this one has more of metal sound. I guess this would be called, “Stoner Punk”? Haha. This one slows the record’s progression down, with a little funk. “Seed” is up next on the track list. This one really sounds like FEAR. It speeds the album back up.

“Grab Life”, is up next. It continues the speed with some great drums and excellent vocals. This is about the evil orange haired monster, “Führer Trump”. “Rush Hour” is up next. It continues the fast pace of the album. This is probably my third favorite song on the record. I love the surf punk fuzz on this one.

“Cum On Aileen”, this is a pure horror punk song. This one has some great drum work. “Berserker”, is up next on the record. No not the “Berserker” song from Clerks, haha! This one has almost a metal undertone to it. “Honey, It’s Okay”, I absolutely love the trumpet and vocals on this one. This is like a serial killer’s theme song!

Overall “R’Lyeh Wasn’t Built In A Decade, Hon”, should be in every punk’s collection. Personally I’d love to have this on vinyl simply for a more raw sound.  The combination of genres and influences marks this one as one of the more memorable albums of 2018. You can pick up a physical copy here, https://blindingeyedog.bandcamp.com/album/rlyeh-wasnt-built-in-a-decade-hon

Track List:

1. Icenian Queen

2. Stupidville, USA

3. Feel the Bern

4. Baltimore Lean

5. Puppet Massacre

6. Tom Otter’s Lane

7. I Can’t Believe It’s Not Haggis

8. Call of Cthulhu

9. Frankenhooker

10. Bong of Cthulhu

11. Seed

12. Grab Life

13. Rush Hour

14. Cum On Aileen

15. Berzerker

16. Honey, It’s Okay

Links:

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/blindingeyedog/

Bandcamp: https://blindingeyedog.bandcamp.com/

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/blindingeyedog/

Website: http://www.blindingeyedog.com/