I just got, Back to Zero, the second album by London based rockers, Brand New Zeros, in the mail a couple of days back and after multiple spins on the turntable I’m loving it.
Brand New Zeros features BibleCodeSundays vocalist and songwriter, Ronan MacManus, and guitarist, Luke James Dolan. Now, despite the Irish names and Ronan’s tenure with BCS there is nothing Celtic here, just really great Rock’n’Roll. MacManus is a fine signer with a rich, raw voice, sometimes reminiscent of another up and coming Londoner, Declan McManus. While Dolan bring with him a big dirty bluesy guitar sound that seamlessly moves from classic rock’ n’ Americana to new wave to grunge.
Like I said, Back to Zero, is really great rock’n’roll and an album I suspect I’ll be listening to for a long time into the future.
Jameson Street is a place you go to find warmth on a cold night or cool on a hot summer’s day. To see old friends and meet new ones, but most importantly, Jameson Street is somewhere you can go to while you leave your baggage and worries elsewhere.
Jameson Street, kicks off with the title track, a full force Céilí romp and possibly the most authentic trad sound I’ve ever heard coming out of any Celtic punk band. Once inside Jameson Street there is truly a meeting of old and new friends, all living Mahones past and present contribution to the album.
Rise Up (Be Strong), brings us back on a trip to the classic days of 1990s Mahones when the Mahones were the only game in town with their Pogues meets Waterboys meets The Replacements sound. Devil In Every Bottle, has you drinking arm in arm with your mates and you all in this together. Freeway Toll, also harkens back to the classic 90s days though this has just a touch of 90s alt-pop. While Watch Me Fall, has a raggle-taggle campfire feel. Lonesome Boatman, an instrumental, gives a loud nod to Celtic-rock granddaddies, Horslips, while winking at the Pogues at the same time. Holloway Jack, the first single off Jameson Street, started life on the Mahones debut, the cassette only, Clear the Way!! This is the definite version. While, Fiddle On Fire, is a manic Celtic jig – authentic as feck and if this doesn’t raise the dead and get them dancing I don’t know what would. She Comes For Love, is the second reworking of an older Mahones track (originally from Here Comes Lucky) this has a nice Replacements vibe.
The album closes appropriately with, Last Call At The Bar, which send us packing into the night as the barman yell’s “go home to fuck”.
Tacked on to the end of the album is a special bonus live cover of The Pogues, If I Should Fall From Grace With God, recorded when the Mahones toured Canada with Terry Woods and the late great Philip Chevron.
Jameson Street is in a toss up with, Angels and Devils, as the best Mahones album since the masterpiece, Here Comes Lucky.
Kings of Sweet Feck All, is the seventh album from Swedish/Irish Celtic-punkster, SIR REG. I’m happy to report that Sweet Feck All continues in the tradition of previous REG releases – energetic trad-punk in the vein of early Flogging Molly (for want of a comparison) – vocalist Brendan Sheehy has a singing style reminiscent of fell Dub, Dave King, while Brendan’s lyrics are pure Dublineese – something you can’t fake.
Kings of Sweet Feck All is a great album of straight ahead Celtic-punk – fast, high energy with strong melodies across all 11 songs. Highlights include, The Coming Regime – my favorite track. The Story’s Been Told, about Dublin in the dreary 1980s (something I can attest to) and the pure Celtic-punk (and anti-lockdown) of, Open The Pubs, and, Goodbye To Your Freedom. A very recommended release.
As much as I hate the term supergroup – it gives me visions of Led Zeppelin or 80’s metal bands made up of exes and put together by some A&R guy (Flogging Molly fans check out Katmandü for a giggle). UltraBomb is a supergroup – in a good way. The punk power trio is made up of Finny McConnell of The Mahones, stickman extraordinaire, Jamie Oliver of the UK Subs, and the legendary Mr. Greg Norton of Hüsker Dü – Hüsker Dü being of course the Saint Paul, Minnesota hardcore punk band that almost singlehandedly established and defined alternative rock in America during the 1980s.
So, give the three members, what does UltraBomb sound like? To my ears, its fast, powerful punk rock with great melodies, kind of like, well,…………Hüsker Dü, but with Finny’s distinctive vocals and Replacements-influenced guitar style – scratch any Mahones track and you’ll hear. Time To Burn, is really great stuff and despite various setbacks (canceled tours due to covid and Greg’s health), Time To Burn, is gonna EXPLODE!
Anthem, the new album from Flogging Molly is out September 9th. The album is produce by Steve Albini who of course produced Swagger and Drunken Lullabies. Check out the first single from Anthem, The Croppy Boy ‘98, here.
Dropkick Murphys have announced a September release for their new album, This Machine Still Kills Fascists. If the title seems vaguely familiar it’s because it’s based on the ol’ Woody Guthrie slogan. The album itself is a collection of new acoustic music set to the lyrics of Guthrie – hence the title I guess. Dropkick Murphys interpretation of Woodies’ Shipping Up To Boston pushed the Murphys into the big time and endeared them to a nation of Firemen, Bros and Soccer Moms.
This Machine Still Kills Fascists was recorded in Tulsa, OK., Woodie’s hometown, and produced by Ted Hutt (Walker Roaders). The album will be without Al Barr who is currently absent from the band due to family health issues. The Murphys will support the album with an acoustic tour in October. I’m seeing them at the Ryman in Nashville. So if you’re there, buy us a pint.
Just got to hear an advance copy of the new Mahones album, Jameson Street, and it’s really impressive. In some regards it’s a throwback to the early Mahones releases and features multiple guests including Dave from the Peelers and Nick from the Dreadnoughts as well as members of the original legendary Mahones line-up. There is also a special treat on the album for Pogues fans.