Sailing into view is a new celtic-punk band called The Scarlet and yet again we find that we can only gush glowingly about them. The Scarlet hail from Budapest in Hungary not that you’d know it though as the great lyrics are sung in crystal clear English and the music is full on celtic-punk with well played banjo and fiddle leading the way. Formed in late 2012 they released a demo (available for free download from here) last year but ‘Midnight Avenue’ is The Scarlet’s first official release and is six tracks of almost twenty minutes of, mostly Dropkick Murphys style, quality celtic-punk. The EP has been produced by Kristóf, the lead singer of European celtic-punk favourites and fellow Hungarians Paddy And The Rats.
The EP kicks off with ‘Thief Of Dublin’ with a classic celtic-punk sound and a great chorus with shouty ‘Oi, Oi’s’ and a harrowing tale of someone whose fell through the cracks in society. Not all is well in the land of saints and scholars it has to be said though set in Dublin it could, unfortunatly, be about anywhere.
“Mommy, tell me how it is possible to leave this shallow grave
Anytime this crappy addiction comes I turn into my own slave
As a child I was very gifted like a prodigy from heaven
What am I now: a scumbag wannabe rascal
Heading in the wrong direction”
The next track is ‘The Jesters Way Home’ and for me the EP’s standout song. Great fiddle in here and Kristóf’s production sticks out clear and loud with electric guitar and tin whistle combining perfectly with the aforesaid fiddle without anything dominating too much. The drumming keeps beat brilliantly and drives it all along steering it away from folk and keeping the sound very much in celtic-punk territory.
“The jester in his solitude is still wide awake
Coz the booze keeps his dreams”
Next up and carrying on in much the same vein is ‘Jacky Wood’ the story of a self-destructive punk rocker.
With ‘Misfortune’ The Scarlet sound the most like the Dropkicks but the song is more like a ballad than a full on punk song. The whole band get a chance to shine on it and these skilled musicians really do shine. One of those ‘end of the night’ songs where strangers wrap their arms round each other and put their pints in the air. A lovely song and a great video to accompany it. The Scarlet are back on more familar territory next with ‘Drunken Scallywag’ the EP’s most punky song and touches of metal shine through as well.
it could have been worse
Kiss my demons”
The everyday story of an alcoholocaust! Wrapping up the EP is a bonus track ‘Phoenix’ and the pirate tale of life aboard the good ship Phoenix.
Plenty of ‘Yo-Ho’s’ and metal guitar riffs accompanying the celtic instruments and it brings the EP to a nice end. All six songs here are self penned so kudos to The Scarlet for that and an album cannot be far behind I guess and I am already looking forward to it. Great things happening in the Hungarian celtic-punk scene and The Scarlet are a very welcome addition to it.
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