Italian celtic-punk with influences of Ireland, heavy metal and ska!
It’s pretty unusual to come across an album in the world of celtic-punk where the songs are in any other language than English so it makes a pleasant change to hear a band that doesn’t seem to mind whether north Americans like them or not! Strawdaze come from Mantua in the province of Lombardy in northern Italy. A survey in 2005 declared Mantua the most ‘liveable’ city in the whole of italy, based on levels of pollution, quality of life, traffic and public transport. They began playing as a covers band in 2008 before making the switch to playing their own material in 2011. Strawdaze released their first record ‘Senza Rotta’ in March 2012 to much acclaim and in December that year they began to work with Dublin based Irish independent record label Nemeton Records which specialises in mainly folk-metal. The new album ‘Sei’ came out on July 2015 and was recorded in Parma by Carlo Izzo.
Eleven tracks that last just shy of forty minutes that encompass traditional Irish folk as well as metal, punk and ska influences on this grand album. ‘Sei’ begins with ‘Tu Chi Sei?’ and the banjo starts the song off and soon its all gone celtic-punk and catchy as hell it is too. Its a shame I can’t tell what the lyrics are about as I always find that’s an important element in celtic-punk but I’m positive that they tell of more than just pirates, drinking and fighting! ‘Diritto di Plagio’ is the shortest track on ‘Sei’ a punk rock classic with nice understated banjo and a real catchy chorus. That understated banjo is turned up to 11 on the next song on ‘Immobili’ and along with the whistle we are back in familiar territory with a song the Dropkicks would be proud of. ‘Scegli’ has them with a kind of ska thing going on before the guitars come in. Celtic punk bands have always dabbled in reggae and ska from The Pogues to The Rumjacks and ‘La Rivolta Del Cammello’ is the latest addition. Catchy as ever and with the nice addition of saxaphone this song really works and speeds up nicely towards the end. ‘La Tua Ultima Dose’ is the albums stand out track for me. Fast as hell and pure celtic-punk. The mandolin is working overtime and the great production doesn’t drown out it’s sound despite the loud guitars.
‘LA TUA ULTIMA DOSE’
‘In Una Vetrina’ is a bit of a ska-punk number with tin whistle and reminds me a wee bit of The Offspring. Again great vocals and the band playing very tight together. ‘Esplodi’ begins with tin whistle before, after a couple of false starts, flying off into a fast paced punky number. ‘Sei’ ends with ‘Un Altro Autunno’ and is I am sure one of the reasons that Nemeton Records picked them up. One of the least celtic songs on the album it is nevertheless one of the best tracks. A sort of folk-metal ballad that speeds up in the middle before slowing right down again.
All in all a fantastic album that will have instant appeal to all that hear it. Don’t you dare be put off by the fact that it’s not sung in English as the vocals both by Mirko and the gang vocals where the band join in are superb. All instruments are expertly played and even though this is Dropkicks territory I am sure anyone with a interest in celtic-punk or even just celtic music will enjoy them. They have great songs and will I am sure will go on to be adored by both punks and celtic music fans alike.
(to listen to the whole of ‘Sei’ for free press play on the Bandcamp player below)
Buy The Album
Contact The Band
Nemeton Records here