1916 meets 1977!
Alternative Ulster are a new group from New York state.
Whether you call it Paddyrock, celtic-punk, Irish punk or kilt rock, makes no odds.
I was really looking forward to receiving this album after hearing some snippets of Alternative Ulster on the internet. Have to say I was a little surprised to get a call from my local pub to say the CD had been delivered there instead of my house. Still a bit baffled about how it ended up there but luckily my sister works in the pub so it ended up in safe hands.
Alternative Ulster are a newly formed 4 piece Celtic punk band from Ulster county, New York. Their recently released debut album Rebellion! is a celebration of the 100th anniversary of the 1916 Easter Rising. With a total of 16 tunes (including 6 covers) this is a pretty impressive debut from the guys. The cover songs include ‘Blitzkrieg Bop’ (The Ramones), ‘Supernaut’ (Black Sabbath) and ‘Seventeen’ (The Sex Pistols) which have been blended with bagpipes to give them a new and exciting celtic punk edge.
The album contains a number of songs which have been written about the bands local city, Kingston. ‘The British are Burning Kingston’ is a recollection of the events of 1777 when the British troops (who then occupied NY city) set fire to the city of Kingston after the battle of Saratoga. ‘Ulster County Jailbreak’ and ‘Ten Guns of Kingston’ have also been penned with local and historical influences while ‘Bannerman Island Ghost Wench’ tells the story of a haunted island in the Hudson River that is home to a crumbling castle best seen from Newburgh, NY.
Overall this is an excellent first attempt by Alternative Ulster. With almost fifty minutes of raw bagpipe punk you won’t be disappointed. I have no doubt that we will be hearing much more from these guys in the future.
By Shane O’Neill
(you can listen to the whole of ‘Rebellion’ for free before buying bu pressing play on the Bandcamp player below)
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the artwork for Rebellion! and all Alternative Ulster releases was made by the singer Michael X.Rose and yopu can check more of his artwork here at his Facebook page.