⚓ Brand new album from The Scarlet. Folk-Punk crazies from Hungary 🇭🇺
Their was a time, and it wasn’t all that long ago that the Celtic-Punk scene in Hungary was without doubt the best in the whole of Europe. We even once ran a feature on the scene there called The Who’s Who: Top Ten and celebrated Hungarian Celtic-Punk Week back in 2018. Since those days we have of course had the pandemic so it’s always great, and an enormous relief, to hear that our Celtic-Punk bands have survived and have continue to release some great music.
“you can feel that we are fed up with the confinement and anxiety all over the record“
The Scarlet were formed in the Hungarian capital Budapest in 2012 and Freedom Call is their follow up to their 2017 debut album Hardcore Shanties which itself followed a Demo EP and the excellent Midnight Avenue, six songs of self penned Dropkick Murphys influenced Celtic-Punk blessed with plenty of pirate ‘Yo-Ho-Ho’s’ and Metal guitar riffs.
The work for the album actually began before the pandemic with two songs released back in those carefree days that would lead to Freedom Call. The album kicks off with ‘Now Once And For All’ and the welcome return of thrashy Metal guitar coupled with some stunning fiddle work from Dominika is a reminder of The Scarlet’s sound. Dániel’s vocals are clear and focused and the slight accent is reminiscent of many of the other Hungarian bands who also mostly sing in English,. The schools over there must be excellent. A great opener with all the required boxes – catchy danceable fun.
‘Rebel Inside You’ takes the Celtic-Punk of the opener and adds a slight Ska / Reggae tinge while also injecting the sound of Pirate-Punk as well. Fast and catchy again and it’s good to see that with some new members on board they seem to have slotted in well. Like fellow countrymen Firkin, The Scarlet use the flute to great effect. I wasn’t too overly keen on this instrument until we were lucky enough to put on Firkin one special New Years Eve in London a few years back and their manic flautist PJ stole the show completely. Since then I have grown to love it and coupled here with the fiddle it ensures that the ‘Celtic-ness’ is never left out. Longest track ‘Storm Earth And Fire’ tells of pirate life and begins with acoustic guitar and is perhaps the perfect combination of Celtic and Metal while still remaining kind of pretty traditional Celtic-Punk. These are not your usual band and their songs take several paths but always in a interesting way. Of several standouts here ‘Urban Buccaneer’ is my favourite. Take it for granted that all these songs are catchy as hell and guaranteed to get your feet moving. ‘Back To The Pub’ sees the compulsory beer song ticked off with the Punkest song here! ‘On My Way’ was the first single from the album and was a great way to announce their return. Another high point for Freedom Call.
The songs here have an amazing quality about that in that I feel they could be completely accessible to anyone. The underlying Folk tunes and sometimes harder Rock riffs fit together very well and could easily please anyone fortunate to come across the band. ‘Serve The Dark’ chugs along at a lovely pace while ‘Little Sister (Of Your Pal)’ sees The Scarlet ‘Irish’ it up with a song with a nice sense of humour. Not a band you hear a lot of covers from they see out Freedom Call with ‘Country Medley’ with The Scarlet treatment given to several famous Country-ish songs (‘Country Roads’, ‘5000 Miles’, ‘Cotton Eye Joe’) and while it could have easily slipped into cheesyness it manages to just stay on the right side though perhaps that is exactly what they were going for.
The album was again mixed and recorded by Zoltán Cs.Szabó, of the Hungarian garage rock band The Trousers, at the Artist Factory studio in Budapest who has done a brilliant job. He has also worked on their previous releases and has always got the maximum out of The Scarlet. Their are only nine songs here but it does last just over half an hour and the songs never outlast their welcome. Another great album from The Scarlet who deserve to be heard a lot more from outside their own borders. Me and the good lady are looking forward to visiting Hungary sometime in the near future and I intend to be arranging it to coincide with The Scarlet playing so expect a glowing gig review when I get back!
(You can stream the whole of Freedom Call below on You Tube)
Download Freedom Call Various Sites Here