Same Again Tomorrow is the new full length album from Kilmaine Saints. Featuring thirteen songs of high energy Celtic Rock and Punk, this album is a statement from a band taking their sound to the next level.
It’s been an incredible six years since The Kilmaine Saints released their last studio album Whiskey Blues & Faded Tattoos. I say incredible as it doesn’t seem that long at all especially as they are a band that have never been far from my play list at home ever since I heard their brilliantly titled 2010 debut album The Good The Plaid And The Ugly, complete with tartan cover. Same Again Tomorrow is their fourth full original album and seventh release overall. Easily one of the better known Celtic-Punk bands outside the ‘big guns’ they have played hundreds and hundreds of shows across the States at pubs and festivals from New Jersey to California, several critically acclaimed releases,especially here at London Celtic Punks, national and international airplay and an ever-expanding and extremely loyal fan base, it’s no wonder even those outside the Celtic-Punk world are starting to take notice.
The Kilmaine Saints was the brainchild of two members of Harrisburg Pipe & Drum band and like many a devious Irishmen before them they were formed with the idea of playing a solitary St. Patrick’s day gig and after playing and taking the free beer on offer and a fair amount of beer tokens the guys realised their could be more to it with the help of fellow members from the pipe band and other notable musicians from the area, they realised the locals were crying out for a band full of Irish swagger, Scottish pride, and whiskey. Since 2009 they have entertained with blistering, high-energy live sets that have their fans singing along, stomping their feet, lifting their pints and shouting for more.
The album kicks off with ‘Fanfare’ and unsurprisingly for guys who met playing bagpipes the pipes are to the fore from the very first bars. It’s very much what to expect from The Kilmaine Saints. Powerful Irish based Folk music complete with pipes and mandolin and intelligent clever and often witty lyrics. The opener is pure instrumental magic that the guys now open their live sets with while the next is title track ‘Same Again Tomorrow’ and Brendan Powers distinctive vocals lead the song through a tale of a bar that many of us call home. ‘Siobhan’ is a fast rocker of a song. Fiddle led and with great lyrics about a feisty and fiery Irish-American lass that Erich said about writing it
“When this song comes on the jukebox I want all the women to jump out of their seats and all the men to cross their legs.”
You can always find a few interesting covers on a Saints album and no exception here with The Animals ‘House Of The Rising Sun’. The kind of song you’ll know even if you think you don’t it’s had a few covers over the years but here it’s played fast and reverential and no doubt it’s a fear crowd pleaser. Completely going back on what I said earlier they did in fact release a mini album of acoustic versions of older songs back in 2020 called Off The Wagon – Acoustic Sessions and that featured a couple of new songs which appears here, ‘Off The Wagon’. The tune flits from Disney favourite to Irish jig and back in just over two minutes and is typical Kilmaine Saints. These guys can write a serious song and have done many times but its the love of a good time that dominates and their sense of humour shines through here. ‘McGowan’s Wake’ also appeared on Acoustic Sessions and carries on the humour but in a bitter sweet tribute to the Godfather of Celtic-Punk that imagines Shane asking the Kilmaine Saints to pay their wake when he finally leaves this mortal coil. It’s an incredibly moving and beautiful song and if Shane is reading this then their is no better band to do it.
‘Throwin’ Hands’ is pure Celtic-Punk heaven with bagpipes, fiddle and mandolin leading in a song about honour and respect and never walking away without giving it all your all. The sounds of a bar and bodhrán light up the start of ‘The Plight’ in a catchy humorous number about the plight of the drinking class as Oscar Wilde would have said. While the ‘new’ Irish middle class pour (!) scorn on the drinking culture of the poor I dare say you need a drink a lot more if you been working outside in all conditions or in a factory than if you been leaning over a computer. ‘Nomad’ is another fast upbeat number while the guys give us a history lesson of Irish-America in ‘Rally ‘Round The Flag’. Now as i already may have hinted I love bloody love a good drinking song but bands like this really tell their history well.
“They sent us to the big war
To remind us what we’re fighting for
In the wood the call the Rogue Bouquet our blood it stained the ground
The screams of death were all around
Souls were lost and never found
Entombed in peace for eternity within the trench they held their ground”
The song is about the famed Fighting 69th Regiment formed in New York City initially as a State Militia unit. It served with distinction in every major campaign since the Civil War. Facing them in battle, Gen. Robert E. Lee was responsible for giving them their nickname when he referred to them as “That Fighting Sixty-Ninth.” Brendan says
“I loved the reference to their bravery during the Civil War, and loved the use of their battle cry. I wanted to add more to their story. I referenced a poem called the Rogue Bouquet by Joyce Kilmer. Sadly he was killed during the battle of Rogue Bouquet Wood during WWI. His Poem was read during the funeral of the fallen soldiers in France.”
As I’ve often said a great Celtic-Punk album needs a couple of things. Drinking songs, emigration songs and a nice bit of trad are some of them and a good ballad is also one of them and ‘State I’m In’ is it. The song is twelve years old and Brendan had written the lyrics without a tune in mind and then for Same Again Tomorrow it just came together as a real team effort. A beautifully sad song about love and loss and again absolute classic Kilmaine Saints that could be my favourite here. Nearly time for the curtain call and ‘Undivided’ is an anthem for all of us that are sick of divisiveness. Too many people are focused on what makes of different and when will we realise we have way more in common than not. A great song that leads us into the 13th track and as we came in we go out with an outstanding instrumental. ‘The Blood Of Cu Chulainn’ is utterly fantastic tune and Gary’s fiddle leads us out magnificently.
(The opening hour long set from The Kilmaine Saints at Mauch Chunk Opera House in Jim Thorpe Pennsylvanian on March 11th 2023)
A brilliant album from the Kilmaine Saints that comes as no surprise to me in that everything they have ever released is brilliant too! Most of the recording process was done in the DIY style, utilising home studios (drums were recorded at The Kaleidoscope in Lancaster, PA) and guitarist Erich led production and mixing while the final mixes were mastered by Mike Monsour at Axis Audio- Nashville, TN. Their sound combines the usual elements of what we like here at London Celtic Punks – traditional Celtic music with Punk and harder edged rock, but not many in the Celtic-Puink do it as well as The Kilmaine Saints do. Many bands songs are based on the same formula of fast-paced energetic instrumentation with powerful vocals but The Kilmaine Saints just do it better than the vast majority.
Buy Same Again Tomorrow (Pre-Release. Out April14th) FromThe Band
At current rates you would have to listen to Same Again Tomorrow 513 times for them to earn $20 from Spotify. It’s cool to bash Spotify, but while their pay structure is questionable, they spread the bands music to a huge audience they wouldn’t reach otherwise. So keep streaming, but if you want to support The Kilmaine Saints and other artists you love, buy their directly from the band when possible.
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