Formed in 2006 in the heart of the corn town of Nordhausen in old East Germany, two mates were playing the occasional pub singalong and decided to try and form a band in the spirit of The Pogues, The Dropkick Murphys and other favourites of theirs. They added a drummer and a female singer and so we had the first incarnation of The Auld Corn Brigade. Later on a bassist and accordion player joined but as with all bands people came and went but the ethos behind the band never changed. That being to connect their love of Ireland and its music and politics with their love of punk rock. I often say Neck are a cross between The Dubliners and The Clash and if that’s true then The Auld Corn Brigade are a cross between The Wolfe Tones and The Angelic Upstarts!
Their only previous album in 2010 ‘A Fighters Lullabies’ was packed to the rafters with traditional Irish rebel songs and while their EP ‘Our Flag’ from 2012 was a kind of break away from traditional songs in which they recorded their first two self-composed songs this, their new album, is mostly their own material and is none the worse for it. 10 of the 14 tracks are penned by the band and although theirs still a fair amount of rebel songs, ‘Graves Of The Fallen Soldiers’ one of the LP’s slower songs, they cover other serious topics like emigration and racism as well. Its not all sober though as theirs a rugby song, ‘Seamrog Song’ one of the LP’s highlights (check out their hometown rugby club with their shamrock logo here!) and also one about St. Pauli Football Club as well as yer obligatory drinking songs.
The album comes in a digipack and has absolutely fantastic artwork (I’ve already ordered me t-shirt!). Celtic Folk Punk & More describe them as celtic-streetpunk and I’d agree with that. The music veers from the thrashy to slowish ballads and all inbetween but with a real German punk rock feel to it.
With most celtic-punk bands theirs always a band more famous that you compare them to, even if they fall outside of comparison to the Murphys/Mollys but its really hard to compare The Auld Corn Brigade with anyone. Most bands tend to shy away from too overt support for Irish Republicanism but these lot totally embrace it with songs covering every era of the war. The vocals are shared between male and female and it works despite the obvious German accents. The album ends with a great version of the standard ‘South Australia’ and at near 50 minutes you certainly get your money worth. Overall their best release yet and yet another one to add to my massive list of ‘Bands I Want To See Live’!!