Celkilt Self Titled EP (2011) Review

Celkilt_logosepiaThe Cosmic Joker is at it again. I woke up today in a bit of a funk for no discernable reason. When that happens I will put on “Poor Troubled Life” by Lexington Field. With my attitude on the rise, I downloaded Celkilt’s 2011 self titled EP release.

Wow! Talk about an awesome piece of work! Celkilt is a 5 piece band that hails from Lyon, France. Musically beautiful and strong powerful lyrics that really spoke to me today! This EP wad an incredible gift for my soul today! “Get The Hell Away” starts of the 6 track EP strong. Changing tempos and rocking hard will get your feet stamping hard, head banging back and forth. “Let Me Out” continues with it’s incredible lyrics and pacing, again utilizing changing tempos. “Jig It Up” is a gorgeously crafted instrumental highlighting the deft fiddle work of the band. “The Same Old Frown” features more strong lyrics partnered with music that gets you moving. “The War In My Head” features growling vocals and more wonderfully composed music. “Lay Me Down” is a haunting tune that finishes the EP with slower pacing and more electrifying lyrics.

Track listing:

  1. Get The Hell Away
  2. Let Me Out
  3. Jig It Up
  4. The Same Old Frown
  5. The War in My Head
  6. Lay Me Down

Celkilt’s use a varied tempo, insightful lyrics and gorgeously crafted music is amazing. This EP can be utilized for any listening mood – to have playing in the background, to rock out to or giving it a contemplative listen, enjoying the incredible lyrics!

When I do my reviews, I really try to be fair and balanced and not a rubberstamp, so when I say this EP and band are incredible, believe me and listen to them yourself! I look forward to hearing more from them and seeing how they have grown since 2011. So thank you Cosmic Joker for delivering this much needed deliverance today!

If you are a lucky bastard and will be at Shamrock Fest 2013 in Washington, DC you will have to check these guys out (and be sure to tell me about it!)

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!

The Kilmaine Saints – Drunken Redemption Review

This past week my music selection as primarily been the Kilmaine Saints new album Drunken Redemption. This sophomore album is an excellent follow-up to their rollicking The Good, The Plaid and the Ugly. On the surface, the album is a great piece of fun music, sure to get you singing along and tapping your feet. But after you scratch the surface, there is a lot of depth in the lyrics of the original songs.

From the start, with the Quick March starts the blood boiling with a fast intro to get you warmed up for the rest of the album that rolls nicely into Battle Cry. Battle Cry is great hard rocking piece with some great lyrics about standing up for your beliefs and fighting for them.

Devil’s Den, listed as Paradise Square Pt 2, is a lovely companion piece to Paradise Square from The Good, The Plaid and The Ugly (one of favorite songs from that album) and this song did not let me down. Rolling into 57, a song that had me searching the internet to learn about the 57 Irish immigrants hired to work on building a railroad in Pennsylvania.The song is haunting as is fitting as the 57 are believed by some to haunt Duffy’s Cut.

The other song that tops my list is With Regrets. At this stage in my life, it holds some deep meanings for me, in looking back at my past mistakes and making the changes so I can live my life with no more regrets. To quote the song “I pray it’s not too late / To right the wrongs I’ve done / and the man that I’ve become.” I can go on all day and cover each song in detail but eventually it will start to sound repetitive about how great each song is.

Amoung the covers, Go On Home British Soldiers tops the list there. And as I have stated in prior posts, in my own humble opinion, I could do without Fields of Anthery – my issue is not with how they covered it, just that it is perhaps one of the most overdone covers done next to Whiskey in the Jar and Finnegan’s Wake. I understand that bands need those songs in their playbook and they are good songs, hence them being covered so much. It is the creativity of the bands creating original songs, in the style and influence that is really fun to listen to. Ok, off my personal soap box now.

So stop reading, find a website (plenty of choices from Amazon, CD Baby, iTunes, not to mention Zune and Google Play Store) to buy it from and start listening!

And of course, here is the track list:

1. Quick March
2. Battle Cry
3. Haul Away Joe
4. Go On Home British Soldiers
5. Devil’s Den (Paradise Square Part 2)
6. 57
7. When We Come To Town
8. The Fields Of Anthery
9. Swallowtail Jig
10. With Regrets
11. The Whiskey’s Calling
12. Black & Blue Jig
13. Brave Yankee Boys
14. All For One
15. Old Rugged Cross

Lexington Field Midwest Missle Tour – St Louis

The last two nights have been incredible fun! From hanging out with Lexington Field on Tuesday and then watching them Wednesday night, it has been a great experience and I look forward to more visits from them.

The show was at Plush and was my first visit to the venue. It had incredible space and the acoustics were good. For those who imbibe, they had a nice selection of on tap beers and even had Guinness on special for the concert (I stuck with iced tea, so I can’t tell you how it was served.)

The evening started with local Celtic Rock band Rusty Nail who rocked out a fair number of their originals including my favorites Deadbeat Daddy Docket Day, Damned Violent Things and Yadier Molina. During their set, Beau hopped up on stage to sing Tell Me Ma with Rusty Nail, giving the crowd a hint to Beau’s energy to come later in the evening! It has been a while since I have been able to see Rusty Nail and it was a great pleasure to experience them live again!

Up next, the main event! It was great to see Beau still sporting his St Louis Cardinals hat for the show and glad his Redbird fever lasted at least 2 days! From the minute Lexington Field started playing, you could easily light a city block with their energy! Cami on fiddle was blistering on she definitely puts the rock into their American Fiddle Rock! Bryan and Casey (even with a hurt hand due to earlier shenanigans of other band members) were slamming  and Vince on the drums was incredible! Not only was Beau rocking out the songs but also being appreciative for the St Louis, from Chad and myself, for the tattoo artist Midwest Rick from TRX Tattoos on South Grand where they got their tour tattoos and for Rusty Nail playing with them.

The biggest highlight of the evening was them playing Poor Troubled Life for me. That song has really helped me through some of my dark days and helped get me through them – so thank you very much guys that meant a lot to me! The whole evening was incredible and too hard to pick more, Galway Bay was incredible, Selfish bastard was phenomenal, Chad Ross and Chris Otto joining the band for a song.

The evening went by too quickly and if i could, I would have followed them to Indianapolis and then up to Chicago to see them with the Fisticuffs! As their popularity grows, i would not be surprised if the get a bunch of traveling groupies like the Grateful Dead, Phish or Widespread Panic – better start thinking of a name for them! Alas the evening had to come to an end, however I saw a fantastic, rocking show and made some new friends! So Beau, Cami, Vince, Bryan, Casey and AJ well met thank you, and till next time!

Check out all the pictures from the concert here and below are just some teasers!

Slainté

The Real McKenzies – Westwinds

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So thanks to Zune, I am able to listen to the new release of The Real McKenzies Westwinds. This post is coming the day after they played in St Louis and I unfortunately missed the show though I did get to spend time with my youngest who was away for 4 days – no regrets there.

Anyway, back to the review. This Scots Canadian band has been rocking for years and Westwinds is their tenth album that I feel is more polished and not as raw. It still rocks hard with great rock and bagpipes.

The track listing is:
1. The Tempest
2. Fools Road
3. I Do What I Want
4. The Message
5. My Luck is So Bad
6. The Massacre of Glencoe
7. The Bluenose
8. Burnout
9. Halloween
10. Hi Lily
11. My Head is Filled With Music
12. Barrett’s Privateers
13. Pipe Solo

The sing highlights for me are The Tempest, My Luck is So Bad, My Head is Filled With Music

The bagpipe launching The Tempest brings you right in and sets the tone for the rest of the album. My Luck is So Bad speaks to me on a very personal level giving my DWI and divorce, hitting rock bottom my luck can only go up from here. My Head is Filled With Music goes straight to the core with the beat and lyrics about a soldier charging into the beaches hearing nothing but music.

For the most part the album is a bit slower than their others, bit still highly enjoyable. The songs seem to be more introspective which may come with age. Go out and give it a listen to!

Slainte!

Greenland Whalefishers – Live at Farmer Phil’s Festival

ImageWow, has life gotten me distracted. I had not realized how long it has been since my last real post about the genre I love to listen and write about. Finally back on the horse so to speak!

The last 2 months or so, I have been listening to Greenland Whalefishers Live at Farmer Phil’s Festival. For those not familiar with Greenland Whalefishers, they are a Norwegian band and have been around since the 90’s. As the title indicates, this is from a live performance and available as a beautiful blue LP vinyl with great photos on the jacket. The album highlights the energy of a live performance while not sacrificing sound quality that some live albums typically suffer from.

Most of the songs are all original, though clearly they have a heavy Pogues influence, so much so that when the music was cycled into my MP3 library, I had to check to see who was playing. Although a minor distraction, I do like to see bands with their own style and sound regardless of their infuences.

Track listing:

  1. 4 Season Song
  2. Hit the Ground
  3. Waiting
  4. I Just Saw You
  5. I am Roving
  6. July Morning
  7. Rich Holder at Thorp Arch
  8. Backup Man
  9. Limp Jos Story
  10. Loboville
  11. The Wild Rover

Right from the gate, “4 Season Song” sets the tone and pace of the album, fast and hard driving. “I Just Saw You” brings the pacing down a bit, but just enough to bring your heart rate down before launching into the rollicking “I am Roving.” The pacing continues through “July Morning” that has a great piece with the Black Adder theme thrown in that I am aching to snip and turn into a ringtone. “Rich Holder at Thorp Arch” is a wonderful instrumental and transitions nicely into “Backup Man.” At this point, I have covered most of the songs, needles to say “Limp Jos Story” and “Loboville” are equally enjoyable and hard driving. The one traditional song, “The Wild Rover” gets an excellent treatment to wind out a great album.

All in all, I really enjoyed the album and my only criticism is about them sounding too much like the Pogues, but really, what is bad about that given the original songs except for “The Wild Rover.” If you have a turntable, treat yourself to the gorgeous vinyl which comes with a download card for your MP3 player, you will not be disappointed.

Slainte!

Brick Top Blaggers Coaster Review

The Brick Top Blaggers are a West Coast Celtic Punk band from southern California. They released their debut album in 2011 but by listening to it you would never think this was their first recording. The music is tight and balanced and the vocals have a great blend of melody and grit. Also, as a debut album, it is great to see all the original material The Brick Top Blaggers have included on the album. Finding my highlights was very difficult and within the last 3 days the number of times I have listened to album is beyond count trying to pick some of my top songs.

So after much mental deliberation, the highlights for me are No Prodigal Son, Lady Liberty/Limerick Rake and  Charlie Camden. No Prodigal Son is a great start to the album and sets the quickly for the craft Brick Top Blaggers brings to the musical world. I especially like the like about the black sheep can pretend to be white, as it speaks to me in that from outward appearance, I appear to be clean-cut and unassuming that hides my wild side. The tempo and beats are infectious and the gruffness of the vocals drives the tone of the song.  Lady Liberty/Limerick Rake is a song from the perspective of an immigrant. It starts slowly and builds to a fast and rocking tune driving the emotion of the song from heartache to the frustrations of a new life alone and bigotry but yet through it all Lady Liberty is the beacon of something better.  My third top song is Charlie Camden, a song of an outlaw that when I was not paying attention had me tapping me feet and when driving my steering wheel. I am sure there have been a few people thinking I have a bad case of road rage as listening to this stuck in the middle of rush hour traffic. The song is both melodic and gruff. All in all, I can’t really say there is a bad track on the album and even as I write this, listening to the album I find myself questioning the top songs. What a great freshman record! I look forward to seeing what else Brick Top Blaggers comes up with. The next question of course is when they will start their national tour and hit St Louis?

The track listing:

1. No Prodigal Son
2. Government Issue
3. Finnegan’s Wake/Whiskey March
4. Oregon Song
5. Goldstone Ground
6. How Many Times
7. Lady Liberty/Limerick Rake
8. The Bold Harpooner
9. Charlie Camden
10. Walk The Plank
 

Slainte!