I want to send a big thank you to Jay Stevens of Between The Wars for sending me a copy of their CD Carried Away! I would be in the poor house if I had to buy all that have found to be great music. Streaming has been a great money saver, but doesn’t give me the freedom to listen to a whole CD from beginning to end. I hope to repay his kindness by spreading the word about their fun and delightful music.
First, I want to give a caveat that I have no musical background, have a poor ear for pitch or tone – so if you are looking for a technical review, you won’t find it here! But I can review it on the emotional level and to me, music is more about the emotion and power. The stirring of the soul is much more important to me than the technical aspect. If I wanted technical music with no soul, I would probably be listening to top 40 dredge instead of Celtic Rock and Punk. The second caveat is that I have never a review before, so bear with me as I find the best way for me to express my thoughts.
The songs on the CD are:
- You Were the One
- Whiskey in the Jar
- Ride On
- Come Out Ye Black and Tans
- I Am Standing Up
- The Ballad of the First Fleet
- Revenge in E Major
- Never Gonna Change
As you can see, the CD has a mix of original and well-known cover songs. I always find it interesting on how bands will work on spinning covers in a unique style, but where I find bands truly shine is in their original compositions. I appreciate a band who can create something new that infuses the same classic-style soul and themes, with the timely influence of the world today.
From the gate, Between The Wars hits you with contagious rhythm, causing unconscious foot and hand tapping. The songs are melodic, relying equally on the instruments and the vocals.
Some of the stand out songs to me are:
- Ciaran – What stood out of me is the love of the father for the son, and the son of the father. While I am not able to relate to the son’s perspective, I hope to be able to be that kind of father to my sons and to encourage them to find their path in the world and for them to know my pride for them.
- Ride On – This song about longing and aching for something you cannot have has always been one of my favorites. The heartache of the song is well-delivered, Between The Wars’ version gave me chills as listening to it (which was very welcome, as I listened to it in my non-air conditioned car in 100 degree heat!)
There are some songs I had greater hopes for that did not deliver for me. I have yet to hear a version of Come Out Ye Black and Tans that is able to drive the balance of melody and hard-driving instruments that I think Celtic Rock and Punk could bring it. I want to find a version that can take the hard-driving rock and still keep the vocals, so please let me know if you know of one. The versions that rock the music tend to scream the vocals, removing some of the emotional impact of the song. Other versions tend to be more traditional, just a little rocked up. So far, my favorite version is still from the defunct Bleeding Irish. The other cover that fell a bit short of expectations was Whiskey in the Jar. The song was good, but nothing for me that was mind-blowing.
Overall, I found the CD fun to listen to, with a good mix of light and deep songs that stirred my soul. Listening to the CD made me wish I lived in Melbourne, or that Between The Wars makes it big enough to have an US tour so I can see them live and buy their swag to show that I am a fan of theirs. As it is, I will settle for their CD and enjoy what I can.
I look forward to any feedback on my review in general, of specifically of Between The Wars CD. I believe in free speech so feel free to disagree with me – I am just one Yank in the broad global Celtic Rock and Punk fandom.