BASTARD - TALES FROM THE WASTELAND
CD. Bomber Music.
Mahone! Here’s a frantic slab of folk-punk that is as down
‘n’ dirty as you would hope, and manages to bring
a slice of originality to a genre that isn’t exactly flooded,
but certainly has its fair share of legends.
This doesn’t feel like a punk album with the odd fiddle
or desperate attempts at Irishness from a bunch of born ‘n’
bred Americans; neither does it seem to be the work of folkies
who’ve decided to go for the punk dollar. Instead, it’s
got a more original – I won’t say authentic –
feel to it. Willing to mix it up – Mongrel
throws a spot of Russian folk into the mix just for the hell of
it, and then pauses for a bass-driven rest – and continually
lively, Smokey Bastard inevitably feel like a band you’d
rather be watching live than listening to on CD. But slap this
on at a party, and you’ll probably have to hide the breakables
as your guests leap about with abandon.
At times – and they’ll probably hate to hear this
– the album seems to owe as much to prog-folk as punk; My
Son John could be a Steeleye Span outtake, a traditional
folk track played a capella. This is followed by the instrumental
Mong Some Hoof, which is a ferocious fiddle and
mandolin battle that is irresistible.
Elsewhere, the album takes on snippets of gypsy punk (Yuppie
Dracula), US-style pop punk (Aspirations, I Have
Some) and whiskey-soaked drunken balladry (Bad
Reception). It ends with a lively cover of Abba’s
Mamma Mia – and while ‘ironic’
punk covers are a dime a dozen, this one’s better than most.
In the end, this is a bunch of first-rate musicians belting out
some first rate English roots music, liberally smeared with a
foul mouthed punk attitude. Who are you to resist?
IT NOW (UK)
IT NOW (USA)