Never Mind the Bastards, Here is Mr. Irish Bollocks

Last month, on my birthday of all days, I got Never Mind The Bastards, Here Is Mr. Irish Bollocks by Mr. Irish Bastard. Back in my early days of discovery new bands, I thought it odd of all the countries that field Celtic Punk/Rock bands that do not seem traditionally Irish. It is great how this genre has a niche worldwide following. For those who have not heard of Mr. Irish Bastard, they are a wonderful from Germany, with a lot of great original songs with the Irish flare. My appreciation of this band has been growing over time – I don’t know if it is the Teutonic side of me or not (yes the secret is out – I am an Irish German mutt!) A Fistful of Dirt has some of my favorite songs such as I Smell the Blood, Paddy’s Last Tango and Don’t Judge Me. So getting a chance to write about Never Mind the Bastards Here Is Mr Irish Bollocks, the homage to the Sex Pistols Never Mind the Bollocks I was happy for the opportunity.

This review required some homework for me. While I am vaguely familiar with the Sex Pistols. I have never really listened to or owned any of their music. As I pulled out the CD,  started thinking that I can write about the CD either as a stand alone focusing solely on the CD’s merits or as a comparison piece. Given that Mr. Irish Bastard did a track for track homage to the Sex Pistols, I felt it would be best to do this as a comparison piece.

When a band does covers, it is always a gamble. Sometimes the music is so much like the original,that one really questions what was the point. Other times, the new version is so far off base, you don’t even recognize the origins. I think the Mr. Irish Bastard was right in the middle and did right to the Sex Pistols and also to themselves. The Sex Pistols were raw, hard energy driving the young punk movement whereas Mr. Irish Bastard is polished and with much more depth coming from the bigger band while still containing the energy and drive of the original. It was fun listening to the original track followed right behind the cover. It was like discovering something new for each track. I enjoyed my homework of getting to know the Sex Pistols but even more hearing how Mr. Irish Bastard took their love for the song and created something deeper and richer, my favorite being Holidays in the Sun. While I am sure the purists out there will disagree and say the polish is against the punk anthem, I would disagree. Punk has matured but the principles are still there. To me punk is about individual liberties and is the outrage to those who want to restrict our liberties. From listening to their homage, it is clear Mr. Irish Bastard is giving their loving homage to an electric, raw and controversal band.

In all, I would highly recommend to this to anyone, be they familiar with the Sex Pistols or not as the CD can stand on its own legs. You can find more on Mr. Irish Bastard here.



One Last Call

Time flies by too quick – between work and family I rapidly lose track of my time. But alas, I have carved a space of time today to post an update. My New Years resolution will be to be more active in my updates. Well enough excuses and on to my review of the new Murder the Stout EP. Oh and please forgive any grammatical errors as my editor had to work today.

On November 30th, I went to The Firebird for the Street Dogs Wreck the Halls tour. My main reason for going was to see Murder the Stout from Houston. Being that they are from the Lone Star state, I had figured my odds of seeing them live would be fairly slim. The whole evening was great, two local punk bands Opposites Attack and Scene of Irony plus Murder the Stout and the Street Dogs. My highlight was seeing Murder the Stout. The energy and showmanship of the band was awesome. My favorite song of the evening was Six O’Clock Swill off their new EP (number 17 on Paddy Rocks Best of 2011.) I want to thank Kevin Murphy and Hugh Morrison for putting up with my semi drunk ramblings and also for the copy of their EP. I did give some support to them by purchasing a t-shirt and sticker for the Paddy Wagon earlier in the evening (I owe you guys a buck though because I accidentally got two stickers.)

Now onto my review of Murder the Stouts EP. The EP consist of 7 songs,

1. Sound the Pibroch
2. Leaving of Liverpool
3. Troosers
4. Six O’Clock Swill
5. Tell Me Ma
6. Foggy Dew
7. That’s Just Me

As you can see there are several standards along with a couple of original songs. A few of the traditional songs I was not familiar with to give a comparison of but all in all, the songs are full of energy and craft and Hugh’s distinctive voice that makes creates a new listening experience. The highlight for me, as was at the concert, is Six O’Clock Swill. I have had “One last call, one last call for the Six O’Clock swill” going through my head for a good portion of the last 10 days. The song is catchy with great lyrics and melody. This song is a great example of why I love this genre – the band has created something original but the roots of where their inspiration came from. Of the standards, I really enjoyed their version of Foggy Dew. I would have to rank it second, topped only by Sinead O’Connor with the Chieftains.

In conclusion, I would highly recommend the EP to anyone. It rocks while still containing the traditional feel and essence that would appeal to the purist. You can download the EP here.