French celtic-punk chicks band!
Four Girls Two Fiddles
Toxic Frogs are quite the anomaly within celtic-punk circles it has to be said. As much as i hate the idea of segregating bands into male and female it is refreshing to see a all-female band in the scene and standing tall too. Most of the time it seems to me that when ‘female’ music is brought up we are suppose to like it whether or not we do actually like it or not. The failed and discredited identity politics that handed the American election to Trump have ensured that people can no longer have an opinion on ‘certain’ things without being shouted at and labelled by hysterical bigots with no actually basis in fact. Anyway rant over and my point is that as a music reviewer my job is review music not ‘virtue signal’ to you all how right on I am by giving good reviews to bad or mediocre music just because the band fit someone else’s ideological pigeonhole. I don’t not have to worry about any of that shite here mind you as The Mermaids Song is abso-fecking-lutely fantastic!
I have heard plenty about Toxic Frogs in the short time they have been together without actually hearing an awful lot of what they have put out so far. Always on my list of bands to find out more about I just had never gotten round to it. Their 2015 album Kill The Devil somehow passed me by except for this review from Celtic Punk Folk And More here but they have kept up a steady stream of excellent videos that have at least introduced them to the wider celtic-punk scene if not me personally!
Toxic Frogs left to right: Lucianne Wallace- Guitar * Elvina Lynn- Bass/ Fiddle * Lydie Dupuy- Drums * Ella Beccaria- Fiddle/ Lead Vocals
Formed in the east-central French city of Lyon in September 2014 Ella came up with the idea of staring an all girl celtic-punk band so started to advertise the idea and soon enough the team of girls was ready. Having already played fiddle for French celtic-punk legends Celkilt she knew the scene and as soon as they hit the practise rooms something gelled. Taking their name from the not so friendly nickname the English give to French people they began to make waves in the celtic-punk scene almost straight away but the question everyone wanted to know was did the band deserve the hype and the answer listening to The Mermaid’s Tale is undoubtedly a resounding yes!
The EP begins with the instrumental ‘Scott Is Back’ and what a start to proceedings. The band consists of electric guitar, bass and drums and some almighty fiddle playing. The music sits nicely on the fence between celtic-rock and celtic-punk and many a time could fall into each within a single song and the standout here is that amazing fiddle playing though that’s not to say the rest of the band don’t play their part equally as well. The song begins with a Scottish feel to it I think because of the Scottish style drumming before a more traditional Irish sound comes in. The songs builds to a breakneck speed and ends with a fantastic flourish. There are a couple of bands in the scene that have female singers like Irish Moutarde and Brutus Daughter but most of the the ladies are confined to backing vocals or taking the lead on ‘Fairytale Of New York’! The band sing in English and ‘Criminal’s Heart’ is pure pop-punk heaven. Much more of a folk-punk number until near the end when the celtic fiddle kicks in and leads the song until the end.
Title track ‘The Mermaid’s Song’ is up next and there’s some blatant metal overtones here which remind me of all girl punk legends L7. Again the fiddle comes in well after the song has established itself showing that Toxic Frogs could easily get away with being just a run of the mill rock band as well. Again the fiddle brings the last curtain down on the last couple of minutes. We are in celtic-punk territory with ‘Toxic War’ and the girls go about their job with a frantic fast paced song with plenty of gang vocal “Hey, Hey” going on.
Last year Katie out of The Mahone put down her accordion for five minutes to record the now infamous ‘F*** You’ for the Hunger And The Fight Part Two album and now Toxic Frogs can add to that with their own ‘F**k You’. At just over six minutes long its a bit of an epic and begins with a slow and soaring guitar rock solo. Ella comes in with her vocals and the music lifts and then all of a sudden we back with the more trad Toxic Frogs sound. A great song that never drags and a brave song to record knowing that celtic-punk fans much prefer short n snappy songs …unless they are ballads and then you can go for as long as you like. Shades of grunge are back in ‘Go!’ with the chugging guitar and the EP ends with the majestic ‘Violins and Hammers for Ever’. Yeah they save the best for last in my humble opinion. Like I said just a few lines ago I am a absolute sucker for a well played ballad and here Toxic Frogs manage it in spades. A beautiful song where Ella’s voice on this EP never sounds better. The best way to bring the curtain down at the end of a celtic-punk record without a doubt.
So an excellent record and good enough for me to leave you in a minute to go and check out their back catalogue as well. Seven great songs that clock in at over thirty minutes so probably long enough for us to call it a album seeing as it is longer than a few other 2017 album’s. Their is talk from our fellow London celt’s Urbankelt about bringing Toxic Frogs over to play so hopefully that will come off as they deserve to be seen far and wide.
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Debut album from 13Krauss a new band from Zaragoza in Spain. Originally forming as a straight up punk band they were converted to celtic-punk after the boys attended a show by The Real McKenzies in their hometown. They added bagpipes and accordion into the band and hey presto 13Krauss were born! A year later and this debut album hits the shelves…
You get 9 tracks of which seven are in Spanish, one in English and an excellent instrumental. The album clocks in at a bit of a measly 25 minutes and the songs fly by with an energy you’ll only find in the celtic-punk world. It is self produced by the band themselves so get onto Bandcamp and support them by buying the download (from only £2!). It was produced by Xavi Estivil together with the band and was mastered by Javier Roldón at “Vaccum Mastering” in Zaragoza.
Sounding at times like the folkier bits of the Dropkick Murphys but without losing the punky feel to it. They very occasionally go into Flogging Molly territory but don’t get me wrong, saying this in no way makes 13Krauss a copycat band. It’s the celtic instruments that lead the way and both the pipes and the accordion are excellently played. I bet they were a decent punk band too as the rest of the band play their parts well and together they have produced a great wee album that puts them at the forefront of Spanish celtpunk. It’s been quite prolific over there recently with The Drink Hunters, Brutus Daughter and The Fatty Farmers all releasing excellent albums recently. I don’t include Bastards On Parade for the obvious reason that they aren’t Spanish! Hats off also to Celtic Folk Punk And More which for those who don’t know is a fantastic Spanish based blog and the inspiration for us to start our own one!
Things are looking bright for the bands future having played this years main St Patricks Day stage in Madrid with Bad Manners and a forthcoming tour of mainland Europe taking in France, Germany, the Czech republic and Switzerland in April 2014. The band deserve credit for producing a album of purely original numbers that is also chock full of tight as f*k, expertly played, fast paced celtic punk rock that will appeal to all!
Contact The Band
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the guys from the band set up the ZARAGOZA CELTIC PUNKS group on Facebook so trot along there and join up here…
To celebrate Saint Patrick’s Day 2014, and courtesy of GET ROCK MUSIC, we are super pleased to offer you this superb collection of some of the finest celtic-punk bands around to download completely for *FREE*. Seriously this is as good a sampler as you’ll find of what’s alive and kicking and fecking brilliant in the world of celtic-punk 2014. Download link below but you can follow the links to find out more about each band.
01. Celkilt (France)- Everyday’s St Patrick’s Day WebSite
02. Drink Hunters (Catalonia) – Drinking Song Facebook
04. Auld Corn Brigade (Germany)- Day To Day WebSite
05. The Vandon Arms (USA) – Streets Of Gold Facebook
06. Sunday Punchers (South Africa)- Guinness – Facebook
09. Fiddler’s Green (Germany)- A Bottle A Day WebSite
10. The Detonators (Serbia)- My World Facebook
11. The Tosspints (USA) – Blood or Whiskey Facebook
13. The Fatty Farmers (Spain) – At The Counter Bar Facebook
14. Cheers! (Czech Republic)- Cliffs Of Galway Facebook
15. Fox’n’Firkin (Australia)- 1788 Facebook
17. Bastards On Parade (Galicia)- Drunken Haze Facebook
20. LochNesz (Hungary)- Have Another Whisky Facebook
21. Brutus’ Daughters (Spain) – 6 Beers Facebook
22. The Scally Cap Brats (Canada) – Dress Sharp, Drink Hard Bandcamp
23. The Irish Rovers (Canada) – Drunken Sailor Facebook
if any links go dead leave a comment or use the Contact Us form via the top of the page
YOU CAN LISTEN TO THE ALBUM BELOW
CLICK ON THE ALBUM SLEEVE BELOW AND FOLLOW DOWNLOAD INSTRUCTIONS
you can download Irish Pub Songs for free if you wish but there is also an option to donate to the Justice For The Craigavon 2 campaign. Brendan McConville and John Paul Wootton have been locked up unjustly convicted of murder and sentenced to life imprisonment. To find out more information on the case visit
So there you have it. The CD clocks in at a whopping 70 minutes + and its not even dominated by North American bands with 15 countries represented on the compilation.
So get downloading, get a drink in your hand and get listening…
“Electric guitars, bagpipe and whisky: Celtic rock as it should be”
Formed in 2009 in Quebec city (a French speaking province of Canada) as a covers band playing traditional Irish songs but with a punk feel and attitude and they’ve now gone on to develop into one of Canada’s best new celtic-punk bands. This their debut album has exploded across the globe and brought them to everyone’s attention with reviews from your usual suspects like Celtic Folk Punk & More and Celtic Music Fan to loads more with no connection to celtic-punk.
Combining the usual punk rock instruments with banjo, mandolin and highland bagpipes, on my first listen they instantly reminded me of a celtic-punk NOFX. Rapid drumming and the up-tempo songs add a touch of rock, punk, celtic and even metal yet it all remains totally accessible in that unique celtic-punk way so that your punky mates as well as your mammy right down to yer wee nephews and nieces would love it. Of course it helps that the vocals are both crystal clear and perfectly sung whether on the ballad ‘Glasses To The Sky’ or the most NOFXie song ‘The Black Mill’. The most unusual thing about IRISH MOUTARDE is that they have duel male and female vocals. In a scene where the audiences are split evenly the actual bands with female vocalists are few and far between, BRUTUS DAUGHTER from Spain/Astures being the only one that springs to mind, most females are confined to fiddle or tin whistle duties and the only usual times you hear female vocals are when someone is guesting on a album!
Fields Of Athenry’ and ‘The Wearing Of The Green’ are the LP’s only covers the rest is all self-penned and mostly in English. The lyrics are mostly about drinking and rebellion. Dominant themes in celtic-punk I know but what the fucks the matter with that I say! The bagpipes are a ever present and it goes without saying are what pushes the album into celtic-punk territory. The Irish diaspora over here in our tiny bit of western Europe never really ever embraced the bagpipes as they did in North America and although I do prefer the sound of the Irish uilleann pipes its the Scots bagpipes that were made for accompanying loud and rocking punk and rock music. You can hear bands like the DKM’s and Real McKenzies in there but they have made the sound their own and in a scene where it is increasingly hard to be original that is a incredible thing. Twelve tracks in all and not a disappointing one among them and the fact that they even managed to do ‘Fields’ without it being a clone of anyone else’s version puts this LP into the classics section already!
Contact The Band:
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Buy The Album: Here
Three Interesting Whisky-Fuelled Band Facts:
1. The name Irish Moutarde was chosen because it is a pun on the French expression “relish-moutarde,” which the founding band members felt the name was (and still is) humorous, light and expressed their musical quality.
2. The band’s mascot is Olaf the Irish Giraffe, who was created by fans of the band Julie Lévesque and Guillaume Racine. The sixth song on their debut album is a tribute to this whisky drinking, green metal giraffe who sports a long white mane and long white goatee.
3. Their first original song was based on a song from one of the novels that inspired the hit TV show Game of Thrones. The song came out a year before the show debuted.