Aussie Celtic Punks The Rumjacks have now been together as a band 10 years. In this time they have released a couple of EPs, three albums and their vocalist and main lyricist has had trouble with the law. Despite the self inflicted drama, they have been able to rise above and tour constantly both here and throughout Europe, making a name for themselves as a band that brings a great gig and plays some raucous tunes.
In an attempt to capture that lightning in a bottle that touring Europe has created, this album was recorded in a matter of weeks in Italy while on the road, and this urgency has made it onto the record. While opener ‘Saints Preserve Us’ is a dance hall-style take on the current state of the youth of the world, Internet culture and the blame driven society that has become common, the lyrics are both comical and insightful whilst the band play a tune that will have you two-stepping and skanking without knowing how you got to that point. Urgency becomes more evident by ‘Bus Floor Bottles’ as it stomps with a snarl and a smirk something The Clash may have done in 1978.
After the most punk rock song the band has done, they turn to ‘An poc ar buile’, a traditional Irish song that lets them be the most Celtic they have ever sounded with some great instrumentation to keep the song on the punk side of the equation.
Through the middle of the album the Rumjacks click back a gear into the more mid paced stomp of their previous album Sleepin’ Rough as they play songs typical of vocalist/lyricist Frankie McLaughlin’s great story telling ability without losing the rough punk edge. The rumbling basslines and dancehall bounce make another appearance on ‘Fare Evader’, a track that seems to carry every element that make this band great – the reliance on Celtic instruments, a punk snarl, but also this newfound bounce and energy that has come from exposure to all kinds of experiences while they have toured almost non-stop for two years.
Paul McKenzie from Celt-Punk originators The Real McKenzies duets on ‘The Foreman O’Rourke’ helping to breathe extra life into an already energetic set of songs. The album rounds out more rally cries against the direction modern society is taking with ‘Dozen Good Reasons to Weep’ with a horn section breakdown keeping the dancehall feel of earlier tracks going and the entertaining lyrical content of ‘Cupcakes’ leaves no doubt as to whom it is aimed at.
This is another feather in the cap of great Australian music that has been going very strong over the last few years. If you haven’t gotten behind this band yet, there is no time like the present, as this may just be the best and most varied album the band has released yet.
- Saints Preserve Us
- Billy McKinley
- Bus Floor Bottles
- An poc ar buile
- Last Orders
- Cold London Rain
- Fare Evader
- The Foreman O’Rourke
- A Smugglers Song
- A Dozen Good Reasons To Weep
- If It Kills Me