The Rumjacks new release, Hestia, is easily the most anticipated Celtic-punk release of 2021. After the drama of original vocalist, Frankie McLaughlin, being booted in April, twelve months ago and his replacement by American, Mike Rivkees, of Mickey Rickshaw fame, the entire Celtic-punk world has been waiting to hear this album.
I’ve been listening to Hestia a lot since it dropped last month as I wanted to give it a fair and not rushed review. So, how does it sound? Like The Rumjacks of old – aggressive Celtic-punk, though maybe a slightly cleaner sound then before. The album burst out of the gate, with the speedy, Naysayer and continues in a fast paced, aggressive style (with more than the occasional Ska undertone) that we are accustomed to from The Rumjacks.
And how about Mike? He is stepping into big doc martens. Now, I’ve seen Mike live fronting Mickey Rickshaw and he’s a great front man. His vocals aren’t as distinctively hard lived as Frankie’s (which I really liked) but they fit right into the songs on Hestia. Mike is a fine replacement for Frankie and hopefully he can get them to the next level – whatever that means.
I caught Mickey Rickshaw live for the first time earlier this year opening for The Tossers at the Middle East Club in Cambridge. The show was also the album release party for Home in Song, the Boston based Celtic punk outfits third full length album. Mickey Rickshaw are a massive band with 8 members, making a massive sound as they completely took over the small stage of the Middle East with a wall bodies creating a wall of Celtic-punk sound. The live sound translates very well to the recorded sound here on Home in Song. If pushed I’d say that Mickey Rickshaw reminded me most of Blood or Whiskey with their mix of Celtic, punk and some ska. A band to watch out for.
Tracks on compilation albums are like friends. You can find good friends like Sir Reg, Greenland Whalefishers and The Go Set. There are friends you have lost touch with and need to reconnect with – The Porters, The Killigans and Kilkenny Knights. Friends that you need to get to know better – Mickey Rickshaw and Hoist the Colors and of course friends that you haven’t met until now. Raise Your Pints – Vol.2 is a very good compilation and if you want to know what is going on in the European scene the MacSlon is the man.
1 The Rogues from County Hell – MacSlon’s 2 The Cloves and the Tobacco – Too Much Trouble 3 Kilkenny Knights – Mick Watson 4 Irish Stew Of Sindidun – One Way Ticket 5 The Killigans – From The Underground 6 The Mullins – 9 To 5 7 The Go Set – Holdfast 8 The O’Reillys & The Paddyhats – Sign Of The Fighter 9 Billy Treacy – Temple Bar 10 Sir Reg – All Saints’ Day 11 Hoist The Colours – Mourners 12 Mickey Rickshaw – Nonprofit Warfare 13 Uncle Bard & The Dirty Bastards – I Only Got One Pint 14 Paddy and the Rats – Lonely Hearts’ Boulevard 15 BalticSeaChild – Fool In The Rain 16 Drink Hunters – Celtic Punks 17 Airs & Graces – 4 Corners 18 The Moorings – Drink Up Fast 19 The Porters – Son Of This Town 20 The Clan – Horns Up And Fight 21 Greenland Whalefishers – The Letter