No Man’s War – Proof 2013 is going to be a great year!

From Lexington Fields Facebook page has been the announcement of their upcoming album title – No Man’s War coming in Spring 2013!

“Every person faces challenges in their own life, and whether or not we overcome them isn’t important. It’s how we are changed by them that defines us. This album is about that transformation. We are excited to announce the title of our new album, arriving in Spring of 2013…”

The Mahones Angels & Devils Review

Typically before I do a review, I will eat, sleep, live and drive the album for about a week, completely immersing myself in the bands artistic endeavors. This time, I am going straight to the review because I don’t want my seeing The Mahones in concert this Friday in Urbana, IL to taint my impression of the songs. That being said, some of the songs have not had a chance to grow on me, though four of the songs were released earlier in October – so some of them have already had some introduction to me. Shakespeare Road, Angels & Devils, Angel Without Wings / Merry Christmas Baby and Past The Pint Of No Return were already familiar with me.

Warning! If you need to sit still and just have some music in the background, The Mahones newest release Angels & Devils is not what you should be listening to. You will not be able to sit still; instead you will be jumping up, tapping your feet, banging your desk to the hard driving punk tunes The Mahones are well known for! The Mahones have been busy between touring and just released The Black Irish last year, one wonders where they found the time to write and produce this new album, with a lot of special guests bringing their talents on the songs. There has been plenty written by Paddy Rock, Shite n Onions and Celtic Folk Punk and More about that, and since my reviews are more about the music on the emotional level than the technical level, I will leave it those excellent gentlemen to explore the musical guest on the album. One might think that with that much time pressure, quality may have been sacrificed, but I can assure this album is not lacking!

From the starting block, Shakespeare Road sets the mood with gritty vocals, driving beat and the exuberant energy The Mahones have built their reputation on. All the songs are clearly identifiable as The Mahones, with not a bad song in the bunch. I really enjoyed the Medley’s – hard rocking instrumentals the get the blood boiling and the feet stomping. Angel Without Wings / Merry Christmas Baby is a sweet song that brings things down a notch or two – thankfully because my cardiovascular system needed the break but The Waiting starts to ramp it right back up to start up the second half of the album and The King Of Copenhagen finishes that ramp and the rate zooms up through the end of the album. The fiddle work on Whiskey Train is outstanding, rapid and sets the ambience for the song. The album comes to a fun ending with a cover of the Stiff Little Fingers Tin Soldiers, hopefully this will bring some of the younger fans into exploring some the forerunners of The Mahones.

In all, The Mahones newest album does not disappoint and is a pure joy to listen to and highlights the years of experience of this hard rocking punk band. So you need to stop reading and go get yourself a copy, RIGHT NOW!

Track list:

  1. Shakespeare Road
  2. Angels & Devils
  3. Spanish Lady
  4. Medley: a. Cruel Of Turf b. The Pigeon On The Gate c. The Battle Of Aughrim
  5. Angel Without Wings / Merry Christmas Baby
  6. The Waiting
  7. The King Of Copenhagen
  8. Past The Pint Of No Return
  9. Medley: a. The Connaught Man’s Ramble b. Christmas Eve Reels c. Johnny’s On Fire
  10. Whiskey Train
  11. The Revolution Starts Now
  12. Makes No Sense At All
  13. Tin Soldiers

Slainte!

 

The Killigans Another Round For The Strong Of Heart Review

The Killigans newest release Another Round For The Strong Of Heart is a like a rollicking wood roller coaster! From start to finish the album is thrill ride that rocks and sways you, giving you moments of respite before dropping of the thrilling edge and jerking you through the turns, your adrenaline and heart pounding, your body being slammed to and fro! It starts off Hit the Deck, with its discordant feedback, much like going up the first incline, building your excitement, wondering what lies ahead and before you know it you are lifted out of you seat as the ride plunges towards the ground, you can’t help but smile as the endorphins kick in. It is followed by Empty Streets, it starts slowly, bringing you up a large incline, just as you think this song will be a slower pace, boom! Another drop into a heart pounding song that contains the lyric of the album’s title. Empty Streets is a song that keeps the pace up and down, hitting the banks, your body rocking along before it moves into the Devil And The Deep Blue Sea, a rolling song, going side to side quickly and lyrics that get stuck in your head. Salt Of The Earth is a flat straight, giving you some time to catch your breath and enjoy the sights around you, the song is touching and has sent chills down my spine when I take the time to
really listen to great song writing by these rocking bards from Lincoln. Hey Sergio is the last of the big hills, again starting with a slower pace before the resulting acceleration – another song with lyrics that get stuck in your head and retain their grip all day long. Ghost Of Our Fathers is a slow piece of straight instrumentation, another moment of heart beating respite but emotionally tugging in ghostly chords. The Killigans quickly ramp it up again with The Throes Of Misery, a head banging song that stirs the primal beast within. The Bottoms is a thumping, fast number. From The Underground is a great homage to the punk rock of the past, channeling the energy and the beats of the past. Take Me Back brings this fast and exciting ride to a great close.

Another Round For The Strong Of Heart shows the maturity of The Killigans, hence the reference to wood roller coasters. The songs are
introspective yet unapologetic. I would highly recommend this album to anyone, this album transcends genre booking. Any fan of Celtic punk, folk punk, punk or just hard driving rock music should love this album. My only complaint is that just like a roller coaster, the ride is over way too fast and you wonder how it was over so quickly so you quickly run back to the front just to ride it again!

The track list is:
1.    Hit The Deck
2.    Empty Streets
3.    Devil And The Deep Blue Sea
4.    Salt Of The Earth
5.    Hey Sergio
6.    Ghosts Of Our Fathers
7.    The Throes of Misery
8.    The Bottoms
9.    From The Underground
10.   Take Me Back

Slainte!

Hoist the Colors – Miles To Go Before We Can Sleep Review

Hailing from LA, Hoist the Colors brings more attention to the West Coast Celtic Punk family that includes some great acts like Flogging Molly, Lexington Field, The Mighty Regis, Bricktop Blaggers and many more. They have just released a new album, Miles To Go Before We Sleep. I have to say, they have made this review very hard for me! Usually I can find a few songs that really stand out that grab and hold my attention, however on Miles To Go Before We Sleep, I cannot pick any standouts – and I mean that in a great way! Every song has something truly unique and special about it. There are no songs that sound somewhat familiar to another one, they range from mournful, spine tingling songs to feet stomping, rocking songs. From the opening of Dance Through the Days, the pulse quickening rhythms and melodic vocals, I was quickly captured and press ganged into enjoying this genre bending group of talented musicians. From there, it nicely transitions to Gordie Lachance with more rocking beats. From there, it moves to the slow intro into The Curse of Blackbeard Lavoy, which picks up into a rolling song, in which made me feel my old sea legs, rolling on the waves. Atwood moves into a mournful song of love, loss and heartbreak. Hoist the Colors quickly picks up the pieces and ramps it back up into Shackles and Chains. Signs and Symbols slows things down a bit (but not too much) letting me catch my breath – by this time, my feet are getting sore from all the stamping! Curse Hoist the Colors – they sure know how to make for a hard review! I can keep on but honestly I am starting to run out of adjectives without being repetitious. Gold continues the hard rocking, moving into the infectious Silence and Loss. Sail on Sweet Soul is another rolling tune, with fast and slow elements that is constructed beautifully. The Line on the Map is a spine chilling song, mournful and gorgeous in the rich sounds. California, a song of longing from a long distance relationship, brings it up musically. Deuces Wild and A Simple Promise continue with the quicker rhythms that finally ends by rolling into the slower yet uplifting KCT, a song that hits a bit close to home, but as the song says, “but I will carry on.”

Overall, Hoist the Colors, creates an exquisite tapestry with the wonderful vocals, songwriting and music that is a roller coaster ride from beginning to end. This is definitely an album that will be getting a lot of play from me!

The track list is:

  1. Dance Through the Days
  2. Gordie Lachance
  3. The Curse of Blackbeard Lavoy
  4. Atwood
  5. Shackles and Chains
  6. Signs and Symbols
  7. Gold
  8. Silence and Loss
  9. Sail on Sweet Soul
  10. The Line on the Map
  11. California
  12. Deuces Wild
  13. A Simple Promise
  14. KCT

Slainte!