Tag Archives: Larkin

Larkin: A Toast to St. Jude

October 3, 2015

Eight years is a long time between releases so it’s great to have Tulsa based Irish-folk-punks Larkin back again toasting one and all and St. Jude too. Fronted by Chad Malone who is better known for his hardcore band Brother Inferior, Chad leaves the hardcore barking behind and does some of the best Luke Kelly inspired vocals this side of….well…Luke Kelly. The Dubliners (the sound) and to a lesser extent the Pogues (the attitude and energy) are the main references for A Toast to St. Jude. If your looking for Irish folk with an edge and without the malarkey then raise a pint and toast St. Jude.

Larkin: Alexandra

Long time S’n’O readers (know as the shitebags) will be well familiar with the mighty Tulsa based Larkin. Larkin contributed 2 tracks to Shite’n’Onions Vol. 2. and I’m very please to report to the shitebags that there is no change to Larkin’s familiar Pogues inspired sound on Alexandra their new 6 track (+ 1 hidden) track EP. The music is still raw, powerful Irish folk-punk with a huge nod to The Pogues and Barney Murray era Blood or Whiskey. Pay attention to the 7th and hidden track where signer Chad strips bear the mental illness (Gunner Syndrome) that dogged him since childhood.

2007

Larkin: Reckoning

I reckon I like this band!

I’d never heard Larkin before and didn’t know what to expect but I have to say I was missing out. I’ve nothing against Tulsa, Oklahoma. Any city with a hockey team is OK by me but I wouldn’t have expected this.

Pretty impressive shite from my point of view…This band really got my feet and other parts movin’. This is what I like from a band of this genre. Tunes full of energy with a good sound accompanying it. Nothing overpowering, just straight forward stuff.

As other outfits can easily be identified by their vocal styling, the same can be said of Larkin. Chad Malone’s vocals are a perfect accompaniment to the music; providing a voice that brings Larkin’s songs to life, meshing the music and lyrics together nicely. The other members of the band do a good job providing the base for Malone’s voice.

Larkin does a good job mixing their songs so that the instrumentals don’t overpower the vocals; meaning you can actually hear what they’re singing about. There is a very nice blend of instruments in all of their songs from David Lawrence’s pipes to Karen Naifeh Harmon’s fiddle. All of them find their place in Larkin’s offerings. One would be hard pressed to find any place where the music didn’t fit.

The entire CD is pretty good but I really liked “Of Hope and Misfortune”, “Ghost of Long Gone Days” the instrumental “Woody Hornpipe” amongst others.

Give Larkin a listen. I think you’ll like what you hear. I’ll be givin’ this one plenty of play.

2006

Review The Black Stuff

Shite’n’Onions: What the Shite

What can I say really? Unless you’re dead, there’s no real reason not to own this compilation… S’n’O II contains some of the best up and coming Celt-Punk (Or whatever) bands out there. Some of them you may know, and some of them you probably won’t. Containing 20 tracks from 18 of the best bands of the “genre” What The Shite is pretty much the ultimate mix tape ever. I seriously haven’t been able to finish any other reviews because this bad boy won’t leave my CD player. (Trust me, that IS saying something.) To say the least, I was surprised (and proud) when S’n’O Volume I came out. Ol’ Murph certianly had an ace card up his sleeve for that one. Shite’n’Onions Volume II is even better! An effin’ royal flush, folks!

Track One is called “Drunken Sailor” & it comes from the Blaggards. You might have heard the song “Drunken Sailor” before, but within two seconds of hearing this version you’ll agree this is one of the better versions out there. (Shay Given approved)

Up next is “Hogjaw” from Jackdaw. it’s a damn same I live so far away from these guys, because from what I’ve heard, Jackdaw’s live show will blow the roof off. Turn up the volume to 11 if you’d like an instant skylight for your home.

Three’s a charm, as they say. The Go Set hails from the shores of Australia, and instantly became of of my favorite bands, and “Sing Me A Song” is a great example. If you like DKM’s “Do Or Die”, you’ll love this!

Track 4 is reserved for The Kissers – “Kicked In The Head” Less than a week ago, The Kissers came through town, and all night long I screamed at the top of my lungs “You Bastards! Play Kicked In The Head!!!” As I’m sure anyone within 5 blocks could tell you that night, I’m a big fan of the song. I’m an even bigger fan of the band, even if their squeezebox player beat me at pool… (The table was crooked.)

Number 5 is for all those Cow-Punks out there. “Pub With No Beer” by Boston’s own, Three Day Threshold. What do they sound like you ask? Just imagine a drunken paddy punk with a boombox on his shoulder atop a galloping horse in full stride across the wild west trying find a sixpack before the pubs close outta do it…

Track 6: “Plastic Paddy” is also on “Liquordale” by The Peelers. it’s also S’n’o’s pick for 2004’s album of the year, and rightfully so, Let me guess, I no longer need to convince you any longer right?

On track number 7 there’s a song called “Blackheart” by Jugopunch. To be honest, I haven’t heard them before. So just so you know, I too will be purchasing an album from them. Wanna race?

Tracks 8 & 9 contain a 1-2 punch courtesy of Larkin. The left jab is called “My Day Of Reckoning” and the right upper cut is called “The Devil & I” If you’re a Southpaw, I apologize, just switch it around a bit! I think I can safely say that Larkin are atop the favs list here at S’n’O land.

Track 10 and 11 are from Mutiny. Aka: “Folk Punk For Punk Folk” If you’d like to hear some Aussie folk-punk with a slight case of scurvy, I highly reccomend listening to both “Struggle Town” & this unreleased version of “Drigging for Gold” All you scallywags out there will love ’em both.

12. The Gobshites – “Cheers” Do me a favor… get this album, go down to your local public house press the play button, grab a pint, hold it high, & cheer your mates. The Gobshites are playing, & good times are here!

Track 13 belongs to The Town Pants and their song “The Weight Of Words” I found out about The Town Pants from this very website, (Thanks, Murph!) The Town Pants recently released their best album to date, and this song is just a sample of what else is to come from a band I joking like to call “The Country Shorts” My god, that was just horrible…

#14 is IcewagonFlu’s “Trinity” not only do they provide the cover art folks, The multitasking Icewagon Flu also write some of the catchiest tunes this side of the pond. if you’re not dancing to this one, you don’t have a pulse.

Track 15. McGillicuddys “On The Rocks” The song isn’t excatly the newest track on the album, (2002) but who the hell cares, these guys are timeless. In fact, I’d love to hear another album from them soon. Check ’em out and get in line.

#16. Another band I need to hear more of are the Sharkey Doyles. “Kings Of The One Eleven” is a great introduction to a band I’ve been hearing alot about.

Track 17 comes to us all the way from England. “The Ballad Of Ali Abbas” from Warblefly. Let me tell you, I have all their albums, and can’t get enough of these guys. Top notch music, and without question, one of the best bands out there. A must have.

Track 18. The Pubcrawlers have come a long way. I remember hearing their demo a few years ago, and made a note to myself to keep an eye out for them. “My Brother Sylveste” proves to me that The Pubcrawlers have evolved into one of the best examples of Celt-Core out there…

Number 19. The Porters will make your jaw drop. German streetpunk covered from head to toe in Guinness. “Weila Weila” gets my vote for best sing-along of the album. If you enjoy this track wait until you hear “A Tribute To Arthur Guinness”

20. I was so excited to hear Barney Murray was making music again. The former lead singer of Blood Or Whiskey has returned to form with the previously unreleased “Troublesome Girl” I hope to hear from Barney, but I’ll take what I can get and be more than happy about it.

So there you have it. Shite’n’Onions Volume II – What The Shite… Look for it in your local record store, or better yet order it directly from the source.

2006

Review By “Barnacle” Brian Gillespie

Larkin: Reckoning

I’d never heard Larkin before and didn’t know what to expect but I have to say I was missing out. I’ve nothing against Tulsa, Oklahoma. Any city with a hockey team is OK by me but I wouldn’t have expected this. 

Pretty impressive shite from my point of view…This band really got my feet and other parts movin’. This is what I like from a band of this genre. Tunes full of energy with a good sound accompanying it. Nothing overpowering, just straight forward stuff.

As other outfits can easily be identified by their vocal styling, the same can be said of Larkin. Chad Malone’s vocals are a perfect accompaniment to the music; providing a voice that brings Larkin’s songs to life, meshing the music and lyrics together nicely. The other members of the band do a good job providing the base for Malone’s voice.

Larkin does a good job mixing their songs so that the instrumentals don’t overpower the vocals; meaning you can actually hear what they’re singing about. There is a very nice blend of instruments in all of their songs from David Lawrence’s pipes to Karen Naifeh Harmon’s fiddle. All of them find their place in Larkin’s offerings. One would be hard pressed to find any place where the music didn’t fit.

The entire CD is pretty good but I really liked “Of Hope and Misfortune”, “Ghost of Long Gone Days” the instrumental “Woody Hornpipe” amongst others. 

Give Larkin a listen. I think you’ll like what you hear. I’ll be givin’ this one plenty of play.

August 2005

By The Black Stuff

Larkin: The Curse Of Our Fathers

Portland was frozen solid under a few inches of ice, and a few inches of snow. It doesn’t really happen that much around here, so you can imagine all the jackass drivers slamming into everything and everybody in sight. I thought about the last time it snowed, when I saw a Subaru 4×4 Outback with a full set of chains on bone dry pavement. I started laughing so hard, I swerved into oncoming traffic. I didn’t want to do that today, so I stayed home. (Not to mention, nobody else was going anywhere!) Sure enough, the world’s greatest postman drove by. I don’t know how, but he did. (must be a New Englander) I looked out the window just in time to watch him drop off a package that obviously contained a CD or two from some far corner of the world.

You know it’s shitty out, when you can’t even make it to your mailbox, and after a full half hour of falling on me arse in the ice & snow, I decided to bust out my old soccer cleats. That did the trick, trusty little fuckers…I opened my mail and found a demo from Larkin. I’d been waiting for this one, so I fired up the ol’ CD player and gave it a listen. At this point I didn’t give a damn about the weather…

“Holy shit!” I says aloud. Upon first listen, I was sure it was The Skels! Well maybe not, but Larkin sure sounds pretty damn close. The only thing missing is the banjo. I liked what I was hearing, and since it was about 10:30 in the morning, and I wasn’t going anywhere, I decided to pour myself a pint of the black stuff (no not coffee) and turn up the volume.

Larkin hails from Tulsa, “Tornado Alley” Oklahoma, and after listening a few tracks from these guys, it’s obvious they can tear it up, torando style! The band is named after Jim Larkin,( http://www.irelandsown.net/larkin.html ) It’s a perfect mix of traditional Irish songs (rebel, drinking and ballads) and originals. The backgrounds of the six band members are extremely diverse. Ranging from punk, classical, blues, jazz, rock, to old-time music.

The album contains 13 tracks.

The traditional songs include:
A Nation Once Again
Join The British Army
Merry Poughboy
Come Out Ye Black & Tans

The originals:
The Curse Of Our Fathers
N.I.N.A.
A Better Man I’ll Be
Island Of My Dreams
Anywhere Street
The Voice On The Wind
Ashes

I highly recommend picking up this album. By the 4th or 5th song, It’s obvious these guys are for real! Also take note: Larkin’s currently writing new material for a new album. It’s going to be called “Reckoning” and S’nO’s favorite artist, Boz, will be drawing up the album’s artwork. It should be out sometime this summer, and I have to admit, I can’t wait.

December 2003

Review by Brian “Barnyard Hooligan” Gillespie (Wanna-be Weatherman)