Bodh’aktan is the self titled fourth full length album from Quebec based French-Canadian’s Bodh’aktan. Now if you haven’t heard Bodh’aktan before they play big ‘ol bagpipes punk’n’roll influenced by both the maritime and Celtic traditions and they do it all Francais…..and why not. Kind of like legendary French punk/metal outfit TRUST on a weekend bender in Connemara. Check’em out.
If I was to describe Bodh’aktan based to the cover of their English language debut Against Winds and Tides, I would liken them to a biker gang taking over an Irish pub. Listening to Bodh’aktan that description isn’t too far off base. Quebec based Bodh’aktan have a huge rock foundation (Sabbath & Voivod tee’s on the cover), layered on with big, all-together, though melodic gang vocals and on top of that a wall of trad instruments – bagpipes, tin whistles, banjo, fiddle, bodhran to name a few.
Against Winds and Tides is basically the bands debut Au diable les remords re-recorded with English language vocals and lyrics (Au diable les remords was in French) and four new tracks added for good measure. Against Winds and Tides is a really strong album with as previously mentioned a huge rock sound married to Celtic, Breton and Maritime traditions. While every track on the album is excellent I would highlight “Sink Another” a drinking classic, the party “Dansez (Dance Hey!)” where Bodh’aktan are joined by Alan Doyle of Great Big Sea and “The Ballad of Jonathan Lewis” a Dirty Glass style girl/guy duet that sucks you in as a ballad but end like a fistfight. A special highlight is the cover of RAtM’s “Killing in the Name” where the fiddles replace guitar when none of the power of the original is diluted.
Celtic punk is not an exclusive preserve of those with Celtic genes or even the English (Hiberno-English) speaking world. We’re all familiar with the great bands from Germany and Japan and even Indonesia playing Celtic punk. But did you know there is a French-Canadian scene and it does not include The Mahones even though Finny move the band to Quebec. We’ve previously reviewed releases from Farler’s Fury now I present you francophiles with Bodh’aktan. Disagree with me that fidddles, French and fecking jigs and Reels don’t work then listen to either A Borie or Le medley du mal de pieds – still disagree after an ear full then your the Duke of Wellington.