After reading through the Shite ‘n’ Onions review of Prydein’s Loud Pipes I was mighty intrigued. This sounded like a combination of two of my favorites styles of music; Celtic folk-punk and Classic Rock. And although the band does dip a toe into the pools of funk, ska, rockabilly, metal, and of course, Celtic music, they are at their heart a rock band.
The band, Prydein, is comprised of the bass, drums, and guitar line-up with the addition of not one, but two Great Highland Bagpipes players, and, as the disc title may suggest, the pipes are very predominantly featured throughout this release, taking a break on only two of the tracks, both uniquely arranged traditionals; the swinging rockabilly of ‘The Wild Rover’, and a laid-back, strolling ‘Nancy Whiskey’, with the latter tagging-in the tin whistle for ornamentation.
The CD runs the gamut from these traditional songs to a cover of Slade’s ‘Run Runaway’ (that almost smiles in pride of itself, and at what it has become,) to the delicate weaving of ‘Aria’s Waltz’, and wrapping the whole package up with a medley called ‘Stairway to Scotland’ that takes ‘Amazing Grace’ and ‘Scotland the Brave’ to a place more suited to crowd-surfing than funereal melancholy.
With seven of the eleven tracks being instrumentals, it is clear that the pipes do the talking for the lion’s share of the CD. But they a do have a lot to say, occasionally trading off licks with a lead guitar, with the band’s rhythm section provides a rock-steady forum for them to say it.
Most impressively, for me, anyways, is just how everything seems to fit together. Each tune/song gets a unique treatment from the band, but nothing seems unnatural or forced. All elements come together in a very organic mixture that covers a lot of ground but still remains securely in rock’s embrace.
My personal fave: Probably “The $17.00 Red Head.” It’s snaking shuffle-beat, a lazy, urban-groovin’ bass line and some sweet wah-wah guitar set an unlikely stage for a dueling-bagpipe melody that just keeps on building.
But, since this disc in currently out on iTunes, don’t take my word for it, grab a free, 30-second sample and see if you can sit perfectly still for it. I couldn’t.
Review by Christopher Toler, THE Blathering Gommel