Old Man Markley

Guts N Teeth

Written by: PP on 10/02/2011 05:58:32

Happy and upbeat, danceable and vibrant, Old Man Markley are poking their nose into the realm of folk punk on their debut album "Guts N Teeth" released through Fat Wreck Chords last month. Mandolin, harp, fiddle and washboard are among the instruments that fuel their drunken folk punk rage, but before you go on accusing them of riding in the coattails of Flogging Molly and the likes, an important remark must be made about OMM compared the rest of the folk punkers. Whereas the rest of the genre draws their joyous sound heavily from Irish and Celtic culture, "Guts N Teeth" displays a band doing the same to the original American bluegrass/folk movement.

This is also why the band have been said to sound a great deal like Social Distortion gone folk, largely due to their vocalist sharing a similar chilled out, jailhouse rock/americana style to his relaxed vocals as Mike Ness, as opposed to the harsher, definitely more drunken and Guiness-driven style of the singers in Flogging Molly and Dropkick Murphys. That said, the amount of lively, bar-room mandolin throughout the music will inevitably draw comparisons to the former of the two, and why not, after all only the fewest I know don't like some jolly party folk every now and then.

But while the foundation of Old Man Markley is on solid ground, the songwriting department lacks behind the giants in the genre. "Running Weight" is pretty catchy, opener "For Better For Worse" is a party-starter, and "Living And Learning" is a nice drinking song, but in between there are a number of tracks that, while not anonymous as such, fail to excite the listener despite promising use of folk instruments. At least for the undersigned, a couple of the quieter tracks that don't go all-out folk punk with a blast of mandolin/harp/fiddle/acoustic guitar (or all of the former at the same time, preferably) don't sound very interesting - at least when comparing to said heavyweights in the same genre. Nonetheless, it's still a decent debut, one sure to turn some heads at a live environment.

Download: Living And Learning, Running Weight

For the fans of: Flogging Molly, Fake Problems, Tom Gabel

Listen: Myspace

Release date 18.01.2011

Fat Wreck Chords

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