April 23, 2010
I love to hear Celtic Folk-Punk Music from other cultures. The Germans, The Slavs, The Japanese; They all have their own interpretations of it and give it a flavor all their own. It is always fun to hear and provides that variety that helps keep the music fresh. This holds true also for Hungary’s Paddy and the Rats.
But Paddy and The Ratsknow it. They are not only on-board with this mentality, but seem to be trying to champion it! Along with the Irish instrumentation and “Pub-Music” style, The Ratshave, (intentionally!) laced music elements of German, Gypsy, Cajun, Russian and various other flavors to create an interesting, mongrel-like, final product to straddle their punk rock rhythms, pacing and mood.
Finding a comparison for Paddy and the Ratsrequires stepping outside of the realm of their high-profile contemporaries, and into that of more specific styles, (with Saint Bushmill’s Choir, Big Bad Bollocks and Boston’s The Gobshites, coming first to my mind.) The band’s sound here is among those mug-swinging, sing-along, “pubrock” bands that eschews politics, lamentations, or deep contemplative philosophy in favor of the more immediate gratification of fun. And damned fun they are. The band’s first full-length CD, Rats on Board,doesn’t have a bad track among the fifteen songs on it, but my personal faves include, Bully in the Alley, Hurry Home, and Freedom.
The Rats’ instrumental arsenal includes guitars, mandolin, accordion, fiddle, tin whistle, bass, pipes, drums, bodhran and vocals, dispersed among the six members, and dispensed with infectious enthusiasm! Fun, immediately accessible songs, and a sound that echoes with raised glasses and wide grins, Paddy And The Rats’ Rats on Board delivers the goods.
Did I mention fun?
Available on iTunes, Amazon.com, Napster, and eMusic, (nice job marketing, guys!) for 30-second samples, if my opinion doesn’t convince you.
Review by Christopher P. Toler, The Blathering Gommel