The Mahones – Irish Punk Collection
Record Label: Stumble Records
Release Date: March 03, 2008
There's something to be said about Irish folk-punk music. It's certainly lively, often aggressive, and will liven up a party within the first few seconds of a song being played. Canadian rockers the Mahones (a name intentionally spelled to sound like the Ramones) are no exception to this rule. With Irish Punk Collection, the Mahones have released a record to sing, dance, and certainly drink along to.
While "Queen and Tequila" is a memorable tune, the first standout track is honestly the second track: "Drank and Lazy Bastard." What better way to epitomize the sound and influence of Irish folk on the punk scene? A song about a degenerate that has nothing better to do than party hard all night and sleep until the sun sets, only to repeat the process once again. In essence, this song is the punk rock answer to Kiss' "Rock and Roll All Night." And while these songs are great, what stands out the most are the more folky-influenced, and stylized, songs. Songs like "Streets of New York" that sounds more like something Peter, Paul, and Mary would sing than the Dropkick Murphys.
And speaking of, who else would you imagine appearing on this record as a guest musician? None other than Scruffy Wallace of the Dropkick Murphys. Other guests include Johnny Fay of the Tragically Hip and Kevin Quain of the Mad Bastards among several others. Truly a diverse group of musicians who've gained enough attention to warrant collaborations between some of the heavy hitters of the genres that reflect through their songwriting.
Honestly, the only disappointing thing about this record is that it doesn't do too much to stand out. There is certainly strong musicianship, and the songs are wonderfully crafted, but they blend in a little too well with other bands playing similar styles of music. However, they do have the advantage of a true Irishman fronting the band. Unlike other bands who have to fake the accent to make people think they're from the mother land (*ahem* the Tossers *ahem*). So while they may not be a standout act, they make up for it with authenticity.
All things aside, this is a fabulous collection of songs. Catchy, upbeat, and something to raise your glass to at final call. And to those who take offense for the few harsh words, just remember this: The Irish - be they kings, or poets, or farmers - are people of great worth. They keep company with the angels, and bring a bit of heaven here to Earth.