The Real McKenzies

Rats In The Burlap

Written by: PP on 20/04/2015 22:38:20

The eighth album "Rats In The Burlap" by Canadian Celtic folk punkers The Real McKenzies brings no real surprises into the mix, once again presenting the genre in about as straightforward manner as it comes. Punk rock riffs, bagpipes, flutes, and the usual stuff you'll find on any Dropkick Murphys or a Flogging Molly album, perhaps with an additional inclination towards the rougher street punk edge in the vein of Flatfoot 56. Except The Real McKenzies have always been a step or two below the real flagbearers of the genre, Dropkick Murphys and Flogging Molly, as we last saw on "Westwinds" a few years ago.

For "Rats In The Burlap", the band up the ante considerably compared to its rather lackluster and forgettable predecessor. The songs are way catchier, the riffs better, and the bagpipes providing fun, danceable melodies in the best traditional Celtic manner. Case in point: "Lilacs In the Alleyway". If that bagpipe doesn't get your dancing shoes on alongside the upbeat guitars that accompany it, then I don't know what will. Similarly, "Yes" is probably titled as it is following a scenario where the bagpipe wielder came into a band meeting with a new melody, after which I imagine everyone just said 'YES' straight away. That's how good it is. "You Wanna Know What" is another crazy flute-driven danceathon that's going to be a blast in a live environment. For the old school punk/street fans (think Social D except with bagpipes), the band bring out "What Have You Done", a true street anthem that's sure to get some fists pumping in a live environment.

But after all that's said, it's still clear that "Rats In The Burlap" isn't a "The Meanest Of Times" or a "Drunken Lullabies". It's not a folk punk classic that's going to bolster The Real McKenzies into the royalty within this style. But not all records need to be classics. This one's just an example of quality folk punk in a time where not many like it are being released. Thumbs up.

Download: Lilacs In The Alleyway, Yes
For the fans of: Sham 69, Dropkick Murphys, Flogging Molly, Flatfoot 56, Rovers Ahead
Listen: Facebook

Release date 07.04.2015
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