Six southern Dutch guys with a passion for Irish folk, steaming Americana, solid rock and Irish whiskey.
Back in 2014 we reviewed an early EP, ‘A Taste Of Liquor’, from these Dutch guys from the town of Bladel and we really loved it. Equal parts Irish folk and punk rock but it rocked a brand of celtic-punk that’s also tinged with country and bluegrass as well. A mish-mash of influences with ska and country mingling with celtic-punk but with the spotlight on the accordion and mandolin even though the rock’n’roll was pumped up to ten. With ’10 Pinter’ LQR follow much the same path and we are glad of it as they have delivered an extremely solid of album of ten songs that deserve to be heard.
from left to right: Wim van Doren: solo guitar, Mark Kremers: lead vocals, Martijn Cuypers: drums and backing vocals, Arjan Bogaerts: accordion, Paul van den Boomen: bass and backing vocals, Tim Maas: acoustic guitar and mandolin
Again its the accordion that dominates proceedings and straight from album opener ‘The Application’ you can hear those influences flowing in and out of the absolutely amazing accordion playing. A tale of arguing with the Grim Reaper and its not yer usual celtic-punk lyrics about fighting and drinking. You’ll have to wait to see if they come along! I’m a massive fan of the American band Calexico and following song ‘Mis Amigos’ has a touch of them but with an added touch of ska. Great lyrics about being in a band and the camaraderie of spending all that time together and the shared adventures. The Bhoys head next to Ireland for a silly wee song dedicated to them mythical creatures out of mythology. Or are they? My Grandad swore blind they existed as did many of his generation.
‘Leprechauns’ take their place among vampires and zombies and the hilarious lyrics and country tinged country tune rattle this along very nicely indeed.
“He’s a riddle man, pranks and jokes,
Four leaf clover, pot of gold,
Crafty shoemaker, fairy or faun,
Hard to get, bastard leprechaun”
you may be surprised that a band that is called LQR that embraces the imagery of alcohol so much can actually have something meaningful to say and if your’re waiting for those songs about fighting and drinking let me save you the bother they never come. There is much more to LQR and like celtic-punk itself, there is no harm in those songs but it cannot be all about that. ‘Bully The Bullies’ stands up for those that society or at least the wankers in society deem different and its uplifting and hopeful words drift along with the song. Next up is ‘Gravy Train’, an album standout and tales of band life. Great electric guitar work here and a catchy as hell tune combining. Love it! ‘Na Zdrowie’ is Polish/eastern European tinged folk punk but still with that unmistakeable LQR sound. Na Zdrowie meaning “Cheers” in Polish so I guess you can call this the drinking song!
A great foot tapping instrumental that starts off slower before going downright mental and more superb accordion and mandolin, though also backed superbly by the rest of the band, they kick up a right old storm. ‘The Flying Dutchman’ is begins as a Springsteen-ish ballad before launching into more LQR fast paced tune. The Flying Dutchman seems to pop up a lot in celtic-punk with several bands using the tale of the legendary ghost ship. A ship that can never make port and is doomed to sail the oceans forever. For sailors the sight of this phantom ship is a portent of doom.
“His last words echoed in the storm
Rain or shine, we’re sailing on
If we have to sail for eternity
we’ll leave today, onwards to sea”
‘Misery Loves Company’ is the most celtic-punk tune and though not quite full throttle it steams ahead at a grand old pace and touches of cèilidh in there along with a stack of other influences. As with the rest of the album the lyrics are crystal clear and these lads can certainly write a good tune but not just that their lyrics are interesting and worth paying attention to as well. Some great bits of humour but also they are not afraid to touch on some sombre topics as well. ‘Silent Witnesses’ is the albums slowest track and its swirling accordion led dark tune fits the equally dark subject matter perfectly.
“Settle the score, An eye for an eye
There’s always someone
who pays the highest price”
10 Pinter comes to an end with ‘The Race’ dedicated to the joys of speedway. I had no idea how popular speedway was in Europe till a Polish mate told me it was bigger than football in some places in Poland. Fittingly the song carries a extremely catchy tune guaranteed to get that foot going at the very least and ends with some manic accordion. Taking us out just as we came in.
“Ride to live, Live to ride”
So ten great songs that last just over forty minutes and keeps up a relentless pace throughout. Some celtic-punk bands feel like they need to throw in a ballad or two just to prove they can play their instruments but LQR don’t feel they need to and bloody right too. A full on party band that I am sure would give you no time to rest your feet live. coming across sometimes as the most mental cèilidh band you’ll ever hear and other times as the most mental country band you’ll ever hear LQR certainly know their folk tunes and history. All wrapped up in a really really nice digipak with loads of band photos and lyrics and looking as nice as any CD I have ever seen. We don’t mind bands sending us downloads for review. I always figure their better off selling that copy rather than sending it me but LQR have produced sometimes really really special so you can forgive them for wanting everyone to know about it!
(you can listen to the album for free on the Soundcloud player below)
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CD Baby (for $0.99 aye you read that right that is the correct price!!)
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