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!
- Shakespeare Road
- Angels & Devils
- Spanish Lady
- Medley: a. Cruel Of Turf b. The Pigeon On The Gate c. The Battle Of Aughrim
- Angel Without Wings / Merry Christmas Baby
- The Waiting
- The King Of Copenhagen
- Past The Pint Of No Return
- Medley: a. The Connaught Man’s Ramble b. Christmas Eve Reels c. Johnny’s On Fire
- Whiskey Train
- The Revolution Starts Now
- Makes No Sense At All
- Tin Soldiers