EP REVIEW: MATILDA’S SCOUNDRELS- ‘Split w/ The Barracks’ (2015)

folk punk from the smugglers coast of mighty Hastings.

ildas

This is the second EP from London Celtic Punks favourites Matilda’s Scoundrels to be released in 2015 and yet again they have sent us into rapture with this four tracker. It was always planned to be released as a split EP with fellow South coast band The Barracks but Matilda’s decided to have a download release only first so if you want the actual physical EP in your hands then I’m afraid you will have to wait a short while longer.

Matilda’s Scoundrels were only formed last year and with the release of ‘Beasts In Disguise’ (which we reviewed here) and a live EP that you can download for free/donation (here) and their regularly gigging up and down the country has seen them getting recognition outside the more usual places. They have become firm favourites among the London Celtic Punks crew and we are proud to count them as good friends and drinking buddies now.

Matildas Tee

click picture for limited edition Drunken Skull t-shirt

So now after that admission do you trust us to give a frank review of this EP is the question… Well to be honest if it was shite I would still give it a good review so there’s your answer. Luckily for us it is anything but shite so we can honestly hand on heart tell you that this is not only Matilda’s Scoundrels best release by a country mile but also a right proper contender for EP Of The Year- straight up! It helps that the production is so very good as previous releases have been hampered a bit by lack of funds to properly record and also sometimes sticking too closely to the rules of D.I.Y. Yeah I agree its not always about perfect sound quality but it does help! So the production is top notch now what about the songs? The EP begins with ‘Sow The Seeds’. This has been part of their live set for a while now and each time I hear it it begins to sound a bit more ‘celticy’. Starting off in a very celtic style before almost thrashing out before settling down to that very Matida’s Scoundrels sound we know and love. The dual vocals between Jason’s shouty and Quinn’s raspy voices work as good on this song as on any song they do with every instrument clear and bright.

(here’s a live version of ‘Sow The Seeds)

Matilda’s are not quite a celtic-punk band despite having all the necessary instruments and all the lads being full on celtic-punk fans but in no way let that put you off. Celtic is in there but but in equal measure to a lot of other things and in the end what you get is folk-punk that is catchy and will appeal to anyone who likes their folk music with a bit of edge or their punk with a bit of tradition. I say all this but ‘Sinking In Their Sins’ is perhaps their most celtic-punk sounding song and unsurprisingly is my favourite track on this EP. We get to hear a lot more of Quinn’s mandolin on this EP but I can’t decide if that’s because on previous releases it was lost in the mix a bit or he was just thrashing it too much. Another real catchy fecker this one and a live favourite of mine with tin whistle coming in as well.

The third of the four songs is ‘Poison Lands’ and a bit pirate sounding with Jen’s accordion and acoustic guitar and one hell of a chorus. Quinn even effecting a sort of pirate accent in parts. Don’t know if he meant this or if he really does talk like that at home?!?! Thrashy in parts and slow in others that give it that pirate feel. Listen to the song and you’ll see what I mean. Sadly the EP comes to an end with ’69 Regrets’ and its a quarter of an hour well spent with one of the brightest sparks in the current scene. This EP is going to be released eventually as a split with Eastbourne punk band The Barracks and each band is going to record one of the others song. Matildas chose ’69 Regrets’ a straight up punk song that they totally change round and adapt so much you could easily imagine them having wrote it themselves. Can’t wait to hear which song The Barracks have chosen…

Matilda's Soundrels

So what we have here is a band playing at the top of their game. A band who are clearly on the rise and as I have said oft time before its bands who put the work in that gets the goods in the end and Matilda’s Scoundrels are a band who have put that work in and continue to do so. A bunch of decent fella’s who really enjoy what they are doing, that are good friends and as far away from some prima-donnas I could mention as is possible. Always up for playing and genuine upset if for some reason they can’t do it. It’s bands like this that deserve the rewards and the way things are going I am absolutely certain they are going to get them. Surely their next step on the road to international folk-punk stardom is an album and we wish they would get a move on!

(you can listen to the new Matilda’s Scoundrels songs for free by pressing play on the Bandcamp player below. The songs are available for download only at the moment but for a measly £3 whose complaining?)

Buy The EP

FromTheBand

Contact The Band

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