Tribute album to the worlds most famous and popular Celtic-Punk band The Dropkick Murphys. Recorded by the best Celtic, Punk, Hardcore and Oi! bands from Russia and Ukraine!
Hot on the heels of our recent review of the Russian band Middle Class Bastards new EP we return to the former Soviet Union for this compilation album from bands from Russia and Ukraine. Vladimir began work on the album back in the autumn of 2012 with over forty bands scheduled to appear. Well fast forward a couple of years and the list has been whittled down to eighteen bands with all but one from Russia and one band from Ukraine- our old favourites O’Hamsters from Ukraine. Unfortunately Бостонское Чаепитие (in English Boston Tea Party) the only celtic/pirate punk band in Belarus had to drop out of the project.
As you would expect the album is dominated by celtic punk bands and several of these deserve to be internationally famous but other musical styles are represented too giving the album a real feel of what’s currently going on in the Russian/Eastern music scene.
The whole album is 18 tracks that runs for over fifty minutes and moves along at a rare old pace. The opening track is ‘Walk Away’ by Zuname one of the best and original celtic punk bands out of Moscow. The starting point is that these are brilliant songs to cover and most celtic-punk bands will have included one or two DKM’s songs in their live sets at some point so the songs are all pretty well recorded and played. Zuname do a great job but is a shame that for a band with a piper they didn’t choose a song with pipes. Nevertheless a great opening. Assholes Syndicate next with ‘The Boys Are Back’. They hail from the same town in northern Russia as Middle Class Bastards and run through the song in a straight forward punk rock style. Not just yer standard cover the Assholes add plenty in and make the song their own. Great guitar work. Думай Сам up next with ‘Sunshine Highway’ and though its not one of the DKM’s strongest songs they give it a good shot. Next up is one of our favourites O’Hamsters from Kiev in the Ukraine. The lads have appeared on these pages before and if there was an award for the best record sleeves then these lot would be a whole lot bigger than The Dropkick Murphys! They pick ‘The Dirty Glass’ and top marks for singing in their native language and as expected they knock it right out of the park. Featuring guest vocals from Maria Naumenko. Only six of the bands on the album sing in their own languages which is a shame but completely understandable really. Just wish it didn’t have to be and people were a bit more adventurous. FatalYear play ‘Noble’ and also sing in Russian and do a great job of one of my own DKM favourites. Following is one my current scene favourites Middle Class Bastards playing ‘Your Spirit’s Alive’ and as I thought they play the bejaysus out of it. Mandolin and pipes kick the arse out of the song turning into a ska song halfway through with the brilliant inclusion of a trumpet before returning to celtic punk again. A classic! Track seven is from Kids Of The Street with ‘Road Of The Righteous’ with the early DKM Oi!/streetpunk classic. The vocals are a bit muffled otherwise a pretty decent job though the song inexplicably fades away far too early. Drunken Fairy Tales play ‘Boys On The Dock’ and they are one of the better known celtic punk bands outside Russia. From Moscow they deserve that recognition and plough through their song with gusto. Riot Radio play a melodic hardcore version of ‘The Thick Skin Of Defiance’. The accordion is well to the fore in St Petersburgs The Beerocephals version of ‘The Hardest Mile’. No matter how hard they try thrashing guitars can’t play louder than a well played accordion! One of the albums standouts is the Citramons ‘Never Alone’. Great guitar work and shouty dual vocals mark this band from Kalingrad out. Another band who were pioneers of the scene in Russia are another St Petersburg band The Пауки (in english The Spiders) who run through ‘The Gauntlet’ without missing a beat though one quibble is the celtic instruments needed to be turned up a bit in the mix. Patronage get through ‘Barroom Hero’ and play it as if The Toy Dolls were covering it. Great stuff. TWIF up next and sail through ‘Boston Asphalt’ in a straightforward fast as hell punk rock style. Another band from Novribosibirsk is Беz Фанатиzма (in english Without Fanaticism) with a speeded up version of ‘Pipebomb on Lansdowne’ the DKM’s would love to be able to play this fast if they could keep up. Real Shamrocks have a fiddle led version of ‘Hang Em High’ and again the celtic instruments are a bit low in the mix at times but that doesn’t detract from the song that much as its another album standout track. City Stones do ‘World Full Of Hate’ as its original except in Russian. Квэкс get the pleasure of doing the Dropkicks most famous song ‘I’m Shipping Up to Boston’. Played to death throughout the world at sporting events it never loses its appeal and the boys do it great justice with what sounds like two pipes bring this album to a close in great style.
Well there you have it. A must have for any Dropkick Murphys fans. Its available for ‘Pay What You Want’ on Bandcamp but first you can grab a listen to it below anyway. We have tried to link to all the bands but its been hard so click on the red band name and hopefully it will take you to somewhere you can find out more information. As with all compilation albums its gonna be a hit and miss affair for most people with not all the tracks bound to move you but theres enough corkers here for you to give a go. Vladimir deserves a real pat on the back for this labour of love and it deserves to be heard. The scene in the ex-Soviet Union is small but growing and there’s some amazing bands so as usual I end with a plea to leave your comfort zone and check out some of these great bands.
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Middle Class Bastards O’Hamsters