Tag Archives: Bastards On Parade

Bastards on Parade: Empty Bottles & Broken Things

October 2, 2013

“Empty Bottles & Broken Things” is the follow-up full length by Galician Celtic-punk band Bastards on Parade to their very fine debut album “Tales from the Death Shore”. The bands new label Wolverine Records must have had a lot of faith in Bastards on Parade and are certainly willing to spend the dough on the band bring in producer John Rioux (Street Dogs) and I think that faith has paid off in another very fine album. No surprises here if you’ve heard BoP before, hardcore punk with pipes influenced by The Real McKenziesThe Street Dogs and Dropkick Murphys of course.

Standout tracks include Outcasts (with Finny from The Mahones guesting) and Shallow Waters (my personal favorite). Like I said a very fine album and if you like stuff like Warriors Code era Dropkick Murphys then this you’ll love. The band are on the road in Europe and if you can, catch ‘em.

Bastards on Parade: Death Shore Pirates

July 24, 2011

Though we ran extensive (and very positive) review of Death Shore Pirates a little while back we had a request for an opinion from Mustard Finnegan himself – usually we don’t that but since the request was from our good friend Waldo @ Celtic-Folk-Punk we decided to oblige.

So from the pen of Mustard Finnegan:

Bastards on Parade are from Galicia (they say its part of Spain) and with a name like Bastards on Parade you know were the influence is coming from without even spinning the disk – Flogging Molly! Just pulling your plonker! When you do spin the disk the apple really doesn’t fall far from the tree – fast, loud punk with gritty vocals (and without the trace of an accent), Gangs All Here vocals and bagpipes of course – though I’m guessing the pipes are more regional to Galicia then the Highland pipes favored by the Murphys – giving the bands at least some individuality on a genre overflowing with similar and copy cat stuff (then again if originally was something your looking for your reading the wrong zine – we do traditional’n’TNT here) but if your looking for 1st class Celtic punk and from a proudly Celtic part of Spain then Death Shore Pirates will satisfy that need.


May 16, 2011

Yup, the Bastards are back! Galicia’s own Bastards on Parade seem to have tossed aside their “annual 4-track E.P.” motif operandi with their latest offering, the full-length CD, Tales from the Death Shore.

But this is hardly the only change for this band with this release! The Bastards’ journey of evolution seems to be similar to that of one of their main influence’s,The Dropkick Murphys. But with each step, the band moved ever away from being yet another DKM-esque Paddy-Punk outfit. And with Tales from the Death Shore, the Bastard’s have begun to well and truly carve out their own place in this ever-growing field.

Without question, the Bastards have the song-craft down. This would probably be where many of the lesser bands have stumbled, but where BoP truly shine. They have honed their style to be a solid, rocking, yet accessible Celtic Folk-Punk sound, seamlessly incorporating all instruments, (guitars, bass, gaita, drums, whistle and mandolin,) into each song to create a true focus. But this has always been the strength of this band. And happily, this is still the case on Tales from the Death Shore.

No, it is Identity that seems to be the Hydra tackled on this release.

You see, early on, the Bastards decided to incorporate the gaita, (or Galician bagpipe,) into their instrumentation. Now, I don’t know if this was a conscious choice to assert the band’s Galician identity, or one made out of necessity from the availability of pipers in the Galician area, but I do know that it has lent a nice cultural signature to the band’s music.

And now, on Tales From the Death Shore, a distinct accent in the vocals has become apparent. Far more-so than with the Bastards’ previous three releases. Now, call me paranoid, or simply over-analyzing, but I can’t help wondering if this is, again, a conscious decision to express the Iberian-Celtic identity of the band. If this was a planned one, it is not only a good idea, but one that has proven successful for band influences, The Dropkick Murphys, (Ken Casey’s Boston accent drips all over every one of that band’s material.)

And then there are the songs themselves. Local references are peppered amongst Tales from the Death Shore, (most noticeably in the immediately catchy track, Gaelic,) but the inclusion of two Galician traditional tunes, all “Bastardized up” to BoP standards; opener Marcha do Antigo Reino de Galiza, (“The March of the Old Kingdom of Galicia,”) and “Chantada’s Jig,” (also known as Muiñeira de Chantada, one of Galicia’s most popular folk tunes!), really cements this argument.

Now, the incorporation of cultural pride is fine, expressing feelings toward one’s home, an’ all that, and makes for great subject matter for any band. However, in the case of the Bastards on Parade, it really elevates the band up to a higher level. It gives the band more personality, not just the authors of a collection of songs. This metamorphosis is either a very smart marketing move, or an extremely fortunate development. It also makes for some damned good listening.

In the Celtic Folk-Punk genre, there are a few well-overused clichés: the old “Shane-like” vocals, massive accordion-focused production, and the most blatant, and tired of all, the excessive drinking songs. Used in moderation, a good drinking song is great. However, nothing but drinking songs makes a band come across as shallow; a one-trick pony. The Bastards have successfully avoided all of these pitfalls, throughout their brief yet productive career to date. And the inclusion of Galician traditional songs and tunes can only open up the ink-well for further material for these guys!

After all, it is the songs that are the meat and potatoes of any good CD. And this is a really good CD! The Galician elements add a nice flavor to the mix, but nothing here is too “foreign” or unusual. Every track, (or should I say, “Tale!”) is accessible and familiar and in keeping with the BoP sound. My personal faves on the disc, (aside from the aforementioned ‘Gaelic,’ which I dig a lot!) must be the moody and introspective ‘Raging Sea’, the staunch and proud battle hymn, ‘(Black) Flags and Torches,’ and what might be considered the band’s first official single from this release, the driving and unrelenting, ‘Infamous,’ with its rousing chorus and pervasive mandolin wandering.

I have been lucky enough to follow along with Bastards on Parade’s growth and evolution, and although I know that Tales from the Death Shore is only the current stage in their development, it is really good one. Thanks, guys!

File under “highly recommended.”

Review by Christopher P. Toler, THE Blathering Gommel

Bastards On Parade: Death Shore Pirates E.P

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