The Tossers – On a Fine Spring Evening (CD)

You can go into just about any major city today, toss a bagpipe into a crowd and hit a band playing Celtic punk rock. Over the past decade or so, it seems like everyone wants to marry The Pogues use of traditional Irish instruments and themes with the driving beat and heavy guitars of The Clash. Though not as well-known as The Dropkick Murphys or Flogging Molly, the Chicago-based six piece The Tossers have actually been blending traditional Celtic instruments with street punk longer than most.

“On a Fine Spring Day,” their seventh full length, the band turns in their finest collection in an already solid catalogue. Filled with mostly up-tempo tracks, the band relies on mandolin, banjo and tin whistle more heavily than their contemporaries, a practice that separates them a bit from the pack of Irish punk rockers. T. Duggin’s Guinness-soaked vocals have also never sounded stronger on songs like “Teehans” and “Whiskey Make Me Crazy” and their take on “Rocky Road to Dublin,” a rite of passage of sorts for any Celtic rockers, would make The Chieftains proud. It may have taken about 15 years, but “On a Fine Spring Evening” may finally be the record that get The Tossers the major recognition they deserve.

Top tracks: Teehans, Whiskey Makes Me Crazy and Katie at the Races

Rating: 8.5/10

The Tossers – On a Fine Spring Evening (CD) /2008 Victory/14 tracks

www.thetossers.com

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