Tag Archives: Firkin

Firkin: Whup!

January 16, 2011

Firkin, that hoard of howling Huns is back for a second assault in the form of ‘Whup!,’ the band’s latest full-length CD, and this thing kicks some serious ass!

With this new release, Firkin continues to keep their distance from their contemporaries, with a sound possessed of blistering power chords leading a chugging rhythm section of willing accomplices, bass and drums. On top of this core are vocals that can go from thundering from a pulpit to screaming from the heart of heavy metal in a single phrase, while meanwhile, the traditional instrumentation of fiddle, whistle, and flute, are spinning wildly; sanding down the burrs, and adding subtle emotional content to the wide assortment of songs offered on Whup!

Speaking of songs, gone are the Flogging Molly covers that were peppered amongst Firkin’s debut release. Instead, ‘Whup!’ is divided between Firkin originals and Firk’ed-up traditional songs, with those traditionals including seisiún-standard, “Beggarman,” Fairport’s “Crazy Man Michael,” sea shanty “Whup Jamboree,” and the less obscure numbers, “Spanish Lady,” “Lord of the Dance,” “Rocky Road to Dublin,” and “Monto,” all done up in Firkin’s high-impact style.

Firkin’s arrangements and interpretations of these songs really stand apart from the usual renditions, true, but once again I find myself enjoying the band’s original compositions more. Perhaps it is because the band is so cohesive in their direction that these original songs, written by the band for the band’s own unique style, are so perfectly balanced in conveying the Firkin sound. These six original songs on Whup contain elements of somber beauty, as in “Idyll on a Hill,” fist-pumping and head-banging, as in “Sailing Away”, and reckless abandon in the mug-swinger, “Beer Almighty.” But my personal disc favorite, (after much intense scrutiny!) must be “Highland Games,” with its menacing melodies and whistle and fiddle work. A total firkin’ barnburner!

In short, Firkin’s ‘Whup’ picks up where ‘Firkinful of Beer’ left off, continuing to blur the line between Celtic Folk-Punk and Heavy Metal with results nothing short of inspired. But with both of the Firkin releases available on iTunes with minute-and-a-half samples of each track, you can see for yourself!

I see also that the band is planning a North American tour this March with some US cities still to be announced. If Boston is anywhere near Firkin’s show itinerary, you can bet that I will be in attendance. I way dig this band.

Review by Christopher P. Toler, THE Blathering Gommel


Firkin – Firkinful of Beer

February 4, 2010

Before anything else, I think it needs to be acknowledged that “Firkin” is a great name for a band. It has an great, antiquated, British Isles pedigree. As a unit of measure, (meaning roughly nine gallons!) it has a vague “mass consumption” reference. And, of course, all that Firkin’ wordplay just Firkin’ waitin’ to be employed!

But a great name doesn’t mean a firkin’ thing if the band can’t back it up.

And Firkin? Yeah. They bring it. Intense is probably the most appropriate word to describe these rowdy Hungarians. The CD, “A Firkinful Of Beer” (Firkinful?) is a 17-track release, (Yes, I said SEVENTEEN!) comprised of almost all covers, (with two or three originals, added in for color!) But these covers are different from your phone-in album-filler, there is effort made to make these songs the band’s own. A lot of effort.

The covers vary from traditionals like “The Galway Races,” “Irish Rover,” and “The Drunken Sailor,” to a number of songs from the Flogging Molly catalog! And all of the originals, traditionals and FM covers get the same Firkin’ treatment, (see how well that works!): A ripping, King-esque vocals, traditional instrumentation such as flute, fiddle, and whistle bringing in the Celtic sound and all of that hanging on for its dear life on top of a straight-up heavy metal rhythm section that is, in my opinion, the real star of the show. This is what gives these firkers an identity that really stands out in a field like this!

As far as covers go, the Budapest-based septet does the job right. But I would really like to see a full-length release of original material from these guys! I think it would be something really unusual, in a good Firkin’ way.

Review by Christopher Toler, THE Blathering Gommel!