The Rumjacks – “Saints Preserve Us”

 

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Release Date: 10/12/2018

Format: Digital  

Label: FOUR FOUR / Black Matilda Music

Location: The open seas

Current Lineup: (Per Facebook)

  • Frankie McLaughlin: Vocals, tin whistle, guitar.
  • Johnny McKelvey: Bass, vocals
  • Gabriel Whitbourne: Guitars, vocals
  • Adam Kenny: Mandolin, banjo, bouzouki, bodhran, acoustic guitar, vocals
  • Pietro Della Sala: Drums, Vocals

Favorite Tracks: Saints Preserve Us, Bus Floor Bottles, Cold London Rain, Last Orders, If It Kills Me and Cupcakes

Sounds Like: Alternative Ulster, Dropkick Murphys, Flogging Molly, Real Mckenzies, The Mahones, Grinning Barrets, Mickey Rickshaw, Clan Of Celts, and 1916. 


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It’s no secret some of us here at CPRA are some bloody Celtic mates. Between A? and SkaBones there’s enough Celtic blood in the both of us to invade England. Ok we probably wouldn’t get far and our backs would go out fast haha. We are proud to check out the new Rumjacks album, “Saints Preserve Us”, out now on all major streamers! In case you’ve been hiding in hole in all these years. I found the Rumjacks back in 2011 by pure accident while searching for some new Celtic punk. I ran across their now Youtube hit song, “An Irish Pub Song”.

That video is currently sitting at 46 million views! I remember seeing it in 2011 and the counter was only up a few thousand if that. I kept thinking why hasn’t this song blown up yet? It took the song some time gain some steam, but look where they are now! Now we have a brand new album to join the ranks of the best of em.

So let’s check out, “Saints Preserve Us”. The writing on each song is excellent. The Rumjacks bring the the classic Celtic trad, the guttural punk, and each song is unique to the core. McLaughlin’s vocals are always right on point. McKelvey and Whitbourne in combination on guitar and bass, bring that classic Rumjacker sound.  Oh how I have needed new Rumjacks music in my life!

The record starts off with, “Saints Preserve Us”. This one is immediately catchy and fun to sing along with. I love McLaughlin’s vocals on this one. Have you thought if an EMP went off and everything you owned that was electrical based just fried? Can you count on someone to hunt for food or grow it for that matter?

“I’ve been eatin’ outta garbage tins, (YOLO!)
I’ve been hittin’ up my cyber-firends,
Left swipe ass wipe not even for the rent,
A hash tag trash bag in search of my identity,
Come get your fix, I’ve got your clicks and shares,
I’ve got your medicine your kisses thoughts & prayers,
LOLMFAOMG I need to pee,
W to the F stop triggering’ me!!”

‘Billy Mickinley’, starts off with some great tin whistle. The drums are heart pounding in a marching band manner. Mike Rivkees from Mickey Rickshaw throws in some kick ass vocal assistance to McLaughlin. ‘Bus Floor Bottles’, is up next on the track list. This one seems to have a deep and powerful message. This song is very reminiscent of The Street Dogs. I can easily see Mike McColgan singing this one.  

‘An por ar buile (The mad puck goat)’, is a cover of the traditional Irish song. This is by the way is the coolest fair ever. It celebrates a brave goat that warned the people of Killorglin from Cromwell’s invading army. The pipes really send this one home for me! This one also features Denis Dowling of the Clan Of Celts and Shelby Colt (London Celtic Punks) on backing vocals.

‘Last Orders’, is next up. I think it’s the mandolin playing or acoustic guitar, but it’s beautiful on the intro! This is a street rat love song. ‘Cold London Rain’, here’s another blast of a tune. The guitar riff shines for me while the vocals will draw you right in. I love the lyrics. I have never actually visited London, but I’m sure I would feel the same.

“Oh, pull me in, don’t let me drown here,

My aim is true & I’ve got so much more to give,

Dry my hair & kiss me gently,

And I’ll surrender up my fightin’ heart to you.”

‘Fare Evader’ slows the album down a bit, with a ska like juke. This one is almost anthem like, yet seems to have a darker undertone. ‘The Foreman O’Rourke’ is up next and probably my favorite track on the record. This is a classic folk cover, originally done by Matt McGinn, featuring the legendary Paul McKenzie, from the Real McKenzies.

‘A Smugglers Song”, is a hilarious, yet amazing tune. It’s about a stolen goods smuggler. Think Han Solo in the dirty London streets.  My second favorite track up next is, ‘Dozen Good Reasons To Weep’. The build up of the progression gets your fist and heart pumping. The song slows down midway to an almost Northern Soul/Ska sound, and rebuilds into the progression.

McKelvey and Whitbourne shred on this track. Robert Collins (Blood Or Whiskey) plays trumpet on this one and nails it! ‘If It Kills Me’, is up next and this one is somewhat heartbreaking. Yet it will become your next favorite pub playing song. Caution this one may lower a tear or two.

“You’ve been smoulderin’ for years.

If it rips through my veins, tears me flesh from bone,

I’ll hear the voices of the faithful ‘You’ll never walk alone..’

If it kills me, if you wake and I’m gone,

If I’m dust on the wind and you’re left to your own,

I’ll love you,.. if it kills me,..

And it probably will.”

Last, but not least is ‘Cupcakes’. This speeds the record right back up. Every single person who loves punk, OI, rockabilly, rock ‘n’ roll, can relate to fantastic song. The Rumjacks should release a video for this song next! Check out the lyrics below.

“Some twunt said I wasn’t punk enough,

Am I not dirty filthy stinkin fucking drunk enough?

You tell me theres no rules and I’ll still fuck it up,”

Alright time to wrap this review up. This album is phenomenal. “Saints Preserve Us’, should join the short list of classic celtic punk albums, you just can’t put down. The additions of other great artists such as, Paul Mckenzie and Troy Zak (The Real Mckenzies), Mike Rivkees (Mickey Rickshaw), Maurizo Cardullo (Folkstone) whose bagpipes are wicked, Robert Collins (Blood Or Whiskey), Angek Roccato (The Clan), Francesco ‘Fry’ Moneti (Modena City Ramblers) and the infamous Denis Dowling (Clan Of Celts) make this album the ultimate celtic punk record.

Tracks:

  1. Saints Preserve Us
  2. Billy McKinley
  3. Bus Floor Bottles
  4. An por ar buile (The mad puck goat)
  5. Last Orders
  6. Cold London Rain
  7. Fare Evader
  8. The Foreman O’Rourke
  9. A Smugglers Song
  10. A Dozen Good Reasons to Weep
  11. If It Kills Me
  12. Cupcakes

Links:

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:

The Grinning Barrets – “Riot”

Release date: August 18, 2018

Format: Digital

Label: DIY

Location: Vancouver Island BC

Current Lineup: Per Facebook

  • Jeremy Fiddy Drums/Fist Pumping
  • Bern Kinnear Bass/Bass/Bass
  • Dylan Wickham Guitar/Banjo/Mandolin/Screeching
  • Aaron Bergen Bagpipes/Whistles/Shouting
  • Pat Westmacott Guitar/Grumbling

Favorite Tracks: Armstrong Ave, The Altar of St Ayn, Last Call, Riot Crew

Sounds Like: The Real McKenzies,  Dropkick Murphys, Flogging Molly, The Rumjacks, Alternative Ulster, 1916, Flatfoot 56, The Mahones, and The Pogues


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Back in May 2018, CPRA was introduced to the likes of the Grinning Barretts, “The St Padraig’s EP”. This ep is still on my daily rotation of favorite Celtic punk albums/eps! When we got wind there’s a new ep in the works. I couldn’t wait to review it. Well that time has finally come!

RIOT EP – Available August/September 2018!

The ep kicks off with a catchy sing along, ‘Armstrong Ave’. This is a pure dedication song to Tim Armstrong and punk in general. The pipes are pumping, the riffs are a joy. The drums really bring the sound in as a whole. This one will be stuck in your head for days. It leads me to ask this question. What album/song did you hear first, that made you a punk?

Next up is the ‘The Altar of St Ayn’. Do you know someone who worships Fox news and Ayn Rand? This song’s for them! These guys really know to write some damn good punk tunes. This one has some great lyrics, and kick ass drums. The mandolin sounds beautiful.

“All hail the matron saint of avarice
Plutocrats professing piety
All hail the matron saint of avarice
Congressmen kneeling at her feet”

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‘Last Call’, is a great little fun song. This one will definitely get stuck in your head! The shreds are fun and simple. The vocalist nails his, “Whoas” masterfully. Look out Glenn Danzing! Here’s a tip for all you about to hit legal age to enter a bar.  The bartender does not want you. They want your tips!  Of course if you’re in a band you do get extra points.

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Next up is ‘Rising Of The Moon’. I love the pipes on this one. This is a call to arms song to fight oppression. ‘IBLD’, aka I’ve Been Let Down is next on the track list. Here we get to hear a really kick ass guitar shred, with amazing drum backing.

‘King Of Scab’, no this is not just another up the union song. This is about coal baron and union busting thug Robert Dunsmuir. I personally have always loved union based songs like, “Allentown”, “Power In The Union” and Floggy Molly’s, “Don’t Shut Em Down”.

“Hired thugs and police
Harassed the picket lines
Until men accepted starvation wages
In collapsing mines”

‘Riot Crew’, now this one surprised the hell right outta me. One would never really expect a celtic punk band to write a hardcore punk song. This song is energetic and speaks to the family in all of us. We all have family down at our local pub. Per, guitarist Pat Westmacott, ‘This is for our friends at Riot Brewing Co in Chemainus BC, winners of the best beer in the world at the world beer cup.”

Now let me go ahead and wrap this up. The Grinning Barrett’s have composed an ep to compete with the heavy hitters in the Celtic punk world. In just 7 songs I’ve wanted to do the following,

  1. Get Drunk
  2. Invade England
  3. Start a riot
  4. Push a Union Thug
  5. Slap a follower of Rand
  6. Play Rancid
  7. Get Drunk Again

I’m throwing this ep into the mix for CPRA’s album/ep of year for  2018!

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Links:

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

Bandcamp: https://thegrinningbarretts.bandcamp.com/

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

The Grinning Barretts – The St Padraig’s EP

Release date: March 17, 2018

Format: Digital

Label: DIY

Location: Ladysmith BC Canada

Current Lineup: (Facebook)

Dylan Wickham and Pat Westmacott/Guitar, Vocals, Banjo, Mandolin. Aaron Bergen and Kevin Dougan / Bagpipes, Vocals and Whistles. Bern Kinnear / Bass. Jeremy Fiddy / Drums

Our Favorite Track(s): Plutocrass, Wild Mountain Thyme, To Your Name

Sounds Like: 1917, The Rumjacks, Alternative Ulster, Dropkick Murphys,  and The Pogues


Sometimes you just need music to drink to or break something? What if I told you, you can have both with fucking bagpipes? That’s right we are going back to our fucking roots. After all we we’re originally named, Colorado Celtic Punk Rock Army!

We started doing promo and reviews for Celtic acts here in Colorado and branched out to mainly covering alternative and punk. The problem we found is that Celtic punk in Colorado is very limited. So it’s pretty fucking awesome we get an album request from a kick ass Celtic folk punk band.

Usually I find great bands like this over at www.paddyrockradio.com or over at http://www.macslons-irish-pub-radio.com. Alright let’s talk beers and pipes. No, I don’t mean pot pipe, you gobshite. I mean bagpipes. So let’s talk Ladysmith, BC, Canadians, The Grinning Barretts. We have been receiving some great music coming out of Canada. It has a thriving Celtic punk and punk scene.

Be sure to check out some our past reviews of Canadian bands such as, The Follow Ups, and The Brie Face. The Grinning Barrett’s dropped their,  “The St Padraig’s”, EP back on March 17, 2018.

I loved the opening track, “Plutocrass”. I suddenly wanted to grab a beer and join in this protest, against the rich. “Billionaires paying millionaires to tell the middle class to blame the poor, To keep them from out guillotines, torches and pitchforks, Billionaires paying millionaires to i.e. right thru their teeth, Filling empty heads with ignorance to justify their greed”. The pipes absolutely shine on this song.

“The bigot parade is on the street again. We call that shit, Fox News”

The one thing I love about Celtic folk. There is an abundant variety of traditional songs such as, “The Black Velvet Band” and “Whiskey In A Jar”. These songs have been covered by thousands of bands. For each band I have my own favorite version, The Rumjacks – “I’ll Tell Me Ma”, The Pogues – “I’m a Man You Don’t Meet Every Day”, and now The Grinning Barretts version of, “Wild Mountain Thyme”. I’m really hoping this song get some airtime during a Boston Red Sox’s game or possibly a major soccer match. The craic in this song is plenty to go around.

Their version of the, “Black Velvet Band” is an amazing change from the traditionally slower song. It’s punk rock sound backed by the pipes led me to listen over and over again. I have to say I felt for the piper on this one and hope they made it out ok. Of course I kid. To think this song could start a huge pit is insane, considering it’s almost 100 years old or more.

How ironic is that on International Workers Day. I’m currently listening to their song, “UFS”?

“An injury to one is an injury to all, But they can’t trample on us when the union’s marching tall, With our bodies on the gears their machine won’t work at all, Stop an injury to one down at your union hall” I love the band’s loyalty to the working man and community. As the unions are slowing dying, here in the states. We must remember we are only allowing the rich to get richer, by breaking our backs every day. Every day we should meet at the pub and plan our fight. Share our stories of life and toast to those we lost. That’s why I love the song, “To Your Name”.

Overall I love the Grinning Barrett’s, “The St Padraig’s EP”. It is amazing collection of true Celtic Punk. The guitar, pipes, and vocals blend in ceremoniously fashion. So grab your Harris Tweed cap, and a guiness. It’s time to join the pit with your kilt on. This is a must download for all lovers of Celtic Punk rock!

You can pick up, “The St Padraig’s EP” here, https://thegrinningbarretts.bandcamp.com/album/the-st-padraigs-ep. Be sure to check them out on Facebook, https://www.facebook.com/thegrinningbarretts/.

Per the band, “Celtic Punkers formed in 2015. After a whole pile of lineup changes we’ve finally hit our stride. We have the distinct honor of being the house band at Riot Brewing Co. in Chemainus BC, Canada. The 2nd EP is currently being tracked, for release this summer, and a 3rd planned for winter.” So that means we have a new fucking EP on the way!

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!