The Fatty Farmers – Refarmatory Review

refarmatoryThe Fatty Farmers are a Celtic Punk band from Toledo, Spain. After listening to them, the best way to think of The Fatty Farmers is a Spanish Flogging Molly – I don’t mean that they copy Flogging Molly but clearly heavily influenced by them that is clear in the music. That Fatty Farmers have a unique sound of their own and their own flair to writing songs in both English and Spanish. The album starts rocking out hard with their first track “No More Woman You’ll Kill” the pace is relentless and the music goes to your core. “21 Blackjack” starts out with great whistle work, the percussion bringing the rhythm to stomp your feet to. “Sraka dupa” is a bouncy instrumental that alternates pacing from fast to slow back to fast that has a fun gypsy feel to it. “Rather Die Than Forget” brings the tone down to a more dirge like level, the fiddle work beautiful and soulful. Lifting your spirits, “Next Sunday We’ll Begin Again” is my favorite track on the album. This one really got me moving, tapping along, head bopping to the beats. “The Way Back Home” is another tune that ramps up fast, with the strings taking the glory during the fast pieces, the whistle and percussion carrying over during the slower portions of the song. “With Head Held High” and “The American Dream” feel extremely similar, fun little pieces but perhaps a bit to close each other. “Hate Cannot Be Forever” brings the speed of the album back down in a soulful song that is mournful and haunting. “At The Counter Bar” & “Lurfy el Payaso” (track 14) are the same song – one in English, the other in Spanish, speeds up the pace once again, deftly handling changes in pace and letting their instruments shine. “My Childhood Dream” brings some hard rocking string work driving the speed of the song. “Fancy Prankster”  is my second favorite song of the album. Perhaps the most Celtic influenced and unique from some of the other songs on the album. “Johnny Techno Ska” starts to bring the album to a close with a heart pounding romp with boundless energy that is a joy to listen to.

In all, this is a solid piece of work. There are some nice standouts here and few songs that sound very similar to the others. If you are looking for something different and has a good international feel to it, then I do recommend you give this a listen to and enjoy!

Track Listing:

  1. No More Woman You’ll Kill
  2. 21 Blackjack
  3. Sraka Dupa
  4. Rather Die Than Forget
  5. Next Sunday We’ll Be Back Again
  6. The Way Back Home
  7. With Head Held High
  8. The American Dream
  9. Hate Cannot Be Forever
  10. At The Counter Bar
  11. My Childhood Dream
  12. Fancy Prankster
  13. Johnny Techno Ska
  14. Lurfy el Payaso

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!

Thank you Last.fm

This is my first foray into the blogging and social media space.  For a long time, I did not feel I had anything to share of interest to other people, but this last year I have become addicted to Celtic Rock/Punk and I want to share my enthusiasm for the genre and the great bands that exist – many of which are local and regional.  Without the Internet, I never would have heard of them.

To start, way back when in the 90’s, I had been a big fan of The Pogues and Black 47. If I had only known of the some of the bands at that time!  As with most of us, the real world intrudes in our lives and music took a backseat to other things in my life.  Recently, I have felt something was missing from enjoyment in life, but I could not find any music that revved me up – that is until I started listening to Last.fm at work.

One day I was listening to the Flogging Molly radio, and BAM! What a great day – for the first time I was hearing The Mahones, The Tossers, Flatfoot 56 and many others.  As I would hear a band that caught my attention, I would switch to their radio and found even more!  The Killigans and Killmaine Saints, American Wake, Bollox, Real McKenzies!  A fire was lit that day!  I found what I was missing!  Music that combined the power and frustration of Punk with the melodies, themes and anger of the great Irish songs!  The combination of rock with the soulful rebellion songs, the hard emotion of punk mixed with the songs of exile and anger.  My playlists kept growing and still grow daily.

It drove me to find more and wonderful blogs like Paddyrock, Shite n Onions and Celtic Folk Punk helped me found more.  On my last birthday, my wife got us tickets to go see Dropkick Murphys and what a blast! I had forgotten how much fun live music is.  That drove me to find bands to listen to live.  So many of the bands I have really enjoyed are regional and don’t make it St Louis.  But I was encouraged – St Louis has a large population of Irish ancestry, so surely there had to be something here.  If Lincoln, NE could have the wonderful band The Killigans or Rockport, IL with their powerful Screw City Saints, why not St. Louis?

After much searching the internet, I found a band called Rusty Nail.  That got me thinking that I want to help people find a band in a genre that is so much more than Flogging Molly, DKM or The Pogues.  After much deliberation and soul-searching for a name for the blog, here it is Rocking the Craic (pronounced as crack.)  Craic is an Irish term for fun, entertainment and enjoyable conversation.  Very appropriate, I think!

I doubt I will ever be able to even be a tenth of what Paddyrock, Shite n Onions and Celtic Folk Punk are, and I am not trying to be them.  This blog is about my journeys and explorations of a much overlooked genre of music and if I can help a few people find a band or two near them, then I have succeeded in what I want to do.  Slainte!