Irish Moutarde

Raise 'Em All

Written by: MN on 06/01/2014 01:54:50

The most successful fusion genres are the ones that have lasted the ages and been ferociously explored, and there exists one concoction that in my optic always seems to inspire a massive smile, unbeatable singalongs and brilliant songwriting. If the obvious album cover of a drunken giraffe being ridden by a ginger-bearded man hasn’t already provided you with a hint of which genre I am referring to, then think whisky, bagpipes, leprechauns and three chord progressions; the phenomena known as Irish (or Celtic) punk. One could shun Quebec-based Irish Moutarde for just being another run off the mill outfit trying to emulate the likes of Flogging Molly and Dropkick Murphys, but I was however pleasantly surprised to find that their debut "Raise ‘Em All" is indeed Celtic punk, but displays one of the first bands with clear thrash metal influences and a frequent use of double pedals.

The story-telling style is heavily influenced by traditional Irish folk, and as you may have guessed it involves stories of love and drunken moral hangovers, of which the track “Farewell To Drunkeness” is a great example of. The song also contains a pretty stellar solo and some fun interplay between the traditional folk instruments. The bagpipes and banjo are surprisingly well played and layered brilliantly upon the vicious punk backdrop. There is good variety in tempo, in part thanks to a very competent lead drummer who pummels the debut into action with NOFX-esque opener “The Black Mill”. “The Cabin” is a clever mixture of thrash-based rhythms in the interludes, but with a balls-to-the-wall verse not unlike something The Offspring would arrange. “I Heard Jesus Was” is a very uplifting song with the unadulterated atmosphere that characterized 90s punk. The swaggering ballad “Glasses To The Sky” inspires love of friendship, and common humanity, yet with a slightly rebellious vibe not unlike the tributes to the working class found in the music of Dropkick Murphys. It seems as if all members contribute vocally to Irish Moutarde, both male and one female counterpoint which at times creates some very tasteful harmonies. This is especially proven in the rendition of “The Fields Of Athenry”. Being from Quebec, Canada, a clear French influence is apparent in the accentuation of the lyrics, but this actually gives a touch of originality to their sound, they even sing in French during “Olaf” a tribute to their colorful giraffe mascot.

Celtic Punk always has a special place in my heart, and Irish Moutarde really knows how to compose the right hooks that give the sound its contagious energy. Furthermore, the dynamic shifts in rhythm and the clear influences from the metal world is more than welcome at this Irish party. On a point of critique, there are occasions where I feel the vocals could be produced a little bit better seeing as they sometimes fail to penetrate the otherwise great musical backdrop. All in all though, it is a solid record from these Canadian Celtophiles.


Download: Farewell To Drunkeness, Glasses To The Sky, The Fields Of Athenry
For The Fans Of: Dropkick Murphys, Flogging Molly, Rovers Ahead

Release Date 17.09.2013

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