The Bloody Irish Boys – Drunk Rock (CD)

The Bloody Irish Boys have came out with their first disc “Drunk Rock”. This means that there are twelve cuts of Irish-infused punk music, all coming from the mind of Shayne Underwood. To be honest, I’ve heard the album come together over the course of the last year (maybe year and a half), but there are some noticeable crags to the disc – for example, there is an electronic feeling throughout this disc owing to the lack of actual band on the disc. Obviously, the vocals and guitars sound organic enough (as they were actually played), but the too-computerized drums (the quick hits on “Standing With Me” are particularly suspect) really provide the only major issue on this album.

Shayne’s ear for pop-influenced (but not pop-dominated) punk puts eir immediately three steps beyond most of the current bands out (newly-defunct Blink 182, Green Day, et al), and eir ability to modernize traditional songs (such as “The Highlander’s Farewell”) and traditionalize modern songs (“The Great Irish Famine”) really is what shines through the most on the disc. Another strong point to “Drunk Rock” comes in the mastering and recording done on the disc – the multi-person chorus during tracks like “Drink, Drink, Drink” honestly feels as if they are standing around singing along with The Bloody Irish Boys instead of just being modified to sound perfect. “Just For A Night” shows a sound to The Bloody Irish Boys that really benefits both the band and the individuals listening in; there is a genuinely innovative progression that along with the bluegrass-influenced bass makes for one of the better songs of the recent memory. Shayne wears eir influences on eir sleeve; take a listen to “My Wicked Ways”, which has the same general sound (on the stanzas) as Social Distortion’s “Story Of My Life”.

There is a definite modification of the song; this is not as much of a cover as it is “music inspired by Social Distortion”. With the hits of the disc; “Just For A Night” and the newest single “Full Moon”, there is no lack of single material on the disc; I have honestly no idea whether the Boys will have another album in them that will come through with the same urgency and tender, loving care that “Drunk Rock” was created with. Sure, there are minor issues with the disc, but after the Boys are filled up with actual musicians, chances are that they will be largely worked out.

Top Tracks: Finnegan’s Wake, Full Moon

Rating: 8.1/10

The Bloody Irish Boys – Drunk Rock / 2005 Sick Sad / 13 Tracks / http://www.thebloodyirishboys.com / Reviewed 26 June 2005

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