April 24, 2010
Those Bastards have returned with their third 4-track E.P. since their formation in 2007, entitled Death Shore Pirates. And a solid and rocking disc it is!
As their name would imply, (obviously taken as a nod to their primary influences,) Bastards on Parade occupy a place firmly on the Dropkick Murphys end of the Celtic Folk-Punk spectrum. Bastards on Parade, however, with the benefits of hindsight, have incorporated the ragged, raw energy of the fledgeling DKM with a pervasive Celtic instrumentation, similar to that which the Murphys eventually evolved into. The result is one that is familiar, yet new at the same time.
The aforementioned instrumentation includes mandolin, tin whistle and bagpipes along with electric guitar, acoustic guitar, bass, drums, and vocals, (all of which are sung in un-accented English, despite the band’s Spanish origins.)
A point of interest, (to me, anyways,) that should be noted is in regard to those bagpipes: Bastards on Parade hail from the Celtic region of Galicia in Northern Spain, and, although I could find no reference confirming this, I believe that the bagpipes used in their music are the Galician pipes, (known as Gaita.) These pipes yield a distinctly sweeter tone than its Scottish sibling, and a somewhat sharper one than the Irish Uilleann pipes. A small detail, true, but one that lends to a unique element in the Bastards sound.
All of these contributing factors are present here in the newest installment in the Bastards E.P. catalog, Death Shore Pirates. Compared to the band’s previous releases, Death Shore Pirates comes in somewhat brighter and cleaner than the “Pipes and Drunx” E.P. and just a bit harder hitting than the absolutely brilliant “Whiskey in my Heart” but continues with the same quality of songs, and infectious energy that Bastards On Parade have consistently delivered.
One benefit from the ‘E.P. versus full-length release’ approach that the Bastards On Parade seem to have chosen is that they are able to release these little slices of their music at a more frequent rate. This is definitely a plus because this stuff absolutely kicks ass.
Review by Christopher P. Toler, THE Blathering Gommel