With the original and traditional melodies of Celtic-Folk and the power of Punk-Rock Orange county Celtic-Punks Brick Top Blaggers have been winning over die-hard fans since 2009 and are set to win over more with the release of their new EP.
The Brick Top Blaggers have never been given a proper airing on this site over the years. Not out of any kind of malice I hasten to add. I consider them one of the top American Celtic-Punk bands it’s more that their releases came out at the wrong time or somehow passed us by. It’s been over a decade now since we first heard Coaster, a ten track album of classic, almost traditional American Celtic-Punk. Two years later came, appropriately, Two Years Enough and a rougher harder edged new sound. The band were then quiet until 2017’s six track EP The Fury. New band members slotting in just right and a now instantly recognisable Brick Top Blaggers sound.
American bands dominate Celtic-Punk and not always deservedly. Their are several countries now whose bands are equal but less numerous but it’s more than fair to say that Brick Top Blaggers bridge the gap between traditional Irish Folk music and Punk in a way that others can only dream of. For example both the Dropkick Murphys and Flogging Molly have found their niche of concentrating on one or the other and are happy therein. For the Brick Top Blaggers though their has always been progression from Coaster right up until this months Obey The Tyrant they have never stood still somehow always pushing the boundaries of Celtic-Punk and releasing memorable music again and again. Formed in 2009 in Orange county, California the band has seen many changes but always the same amazing fiddle with roaring guitars, passionate vocals and rock-solid bass and drums.
The first of the EP’s six songs is ‘Preamble’, a instrumental with pounding tribal drums and mournful fiddle that builds slowly up into ‘Hope Fiend’. English born Steve Almond (B-right-on) is still at the helm and listen very closely and you can hear the odd English pronunciation slipping in! His vocals and songwriting are superb and he manages to convey exactly what his songs are and they say a lot. All the songs here are well over the standard length with ‘Forgotten Generation’ the longest but also the EP’s standout track. Telling simply the story of men conscripted and sent off to fight and for many to die for the freedoms we take for granted. Next up is the title track and ‘Obey The Tyrant’ sees them speeding things up though always keeping it firmly in the Folk camp. Karin’s excellent fiddle helps of course as does Steve’s vocals that sit just right between ‘nice’ Folky singing and ‘shouty’ Punk singing. Now is the foot stomper ‘Invisible Man’ is a loving tribute that cracks along at a fair old pace. We first heard ‘Denial’ on St. Patrick’s day last year and here it brings down the curtain. The Punkiest track of the EP
Obey The Tyrant is out on acclaimed San Diego, CA label Mannequin Vanity Records who specialise in Folk, World and Punk music just like us! The band is not resting on their laurels and already writing and recording material for a new album slated for release in the spring.
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