An Dochas: An DochasAre all traditional bands created equal? Are they all there for background music while we have a pint in our favorite Irish pub? Do you have to be over fifty to go see a trad band live?
I happen to be under the impression that a lot of the readers of this site are here for the more punk and rock and roll music that it covers which is fine, I’m big into just about every aspect of punk, hardcore, rock, but also the real Irish side of this genre, traditional music. With every band and it’s brother rocking out trad songs and doing revved up jigs and reels, sometimes it makes me wonder if we’re not forgetting something, our roots in the traditional Irish music. Throwing a fiddle in with an electric guitar is cool and all, but ever heard a solo that actually drives you to tears. There is such heart and soul in the instruments you see up on stage getting wailed on during Dropkick Murphy’s Rocky Road to Dublin, but you wouldn’t know it the way it’s thrown at you through distortion pedals, amps and speakers like it was just so much more noise to fill your head. There is something to be said for slowing down and taking the time to listen to the song the way it was meant to be played.
I’m not saying that it’s going to be easy for you the reader to go out there and just dive right into the first band that comes along, there are some that are horrible at it, but somehow get record deals, and there are some that aren’t going to be your style. I do have one suggestion that really you can’t go wrong with is An Dochas.
With all the energy and drive these folks put into there music, how they aren’t selling gold records is beyond me! They are what most new agers like to call a world beat, but don’t let that scare you, they really do kick out some great tunes that make you want to put on you’re jacket, get in the car and fly to the nearest session, grab a Guinness and sit and relax. It’s great for relaxing reading a book, and as I have found the perfect company on a long trip in a car. Dragon Fly, the album I have is all instrumental, which I know drives some folks nuts, but I think there is so much going on, to me it feels like everyone in the band is singing to me and I love the way every time I hear a song, there is a new voice to listen to.
Usually I have at least a few problems with every CD I review, but this one I have a hard time finding faults. There are a few nit-picks, one being that some songs are long and repetitive, but then that’s the way some of these songs are written. So just find them online and buy the CD and you won’t be disappointed.
“Take No Prisoners” is a grand release, more punk rock then previous and especially on the opener and title track and on “Out of Control”. Trad., covers “Nancy Whiskey” and the very trashy “Whiskey in the Jar” are destined to be live favorites and “The Amsterdam Song” is classic Mahones very much in the vein of “Drunken Dirty Bastard” or “Drunken Night in Dublin” (it’s a drinking and debauchery song to boot!) Also check out the “A Little Bit of Love” a beautiful alt-country duet with Damhnait Doyle.