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Profile for Chippy Chargrave > Reviews

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Content by Chippy Chargrave
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Reviews Written by
Chippy Chargrave (UK)

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Long Dim Road
Long Dim Road

4.0 out of 5 stars A strong album - good variety of songs, 23 Dec. 2007
This review is from: Long Dim Road (Audio CD)
I really like this album due to its great variety in the styles of tracks and the fact that I think it has established The Tossers as one of the top Celtic-punk bands, ranking up there with Flogging Molly, Pogues, Dropkick Murphy's etc, all of whom I'm a big fan of.
`Crutch' and `Litigation' are both mad and energetic songs typical of much of the Tossers' work and it is impossible not to at least tap your feet to the beat. `Ballad of the N.A.T.O' is my personal favourite track - the experimentation (which is what makes the Tossers so good in general) is very successful here, with attacking political lyrics and a single and calm strum of the mandolin. `Mad riot' is a great song to play very loud on the stereo and is hard to resist shouting along with. `Altercations' is another strong song, while calmer songs such as `Ciara' add to the mix at the end.
I would say that this is a very good album to buy if you like Celtic-punk and would make a good introduction to the Tossers.


Agony
Agony
Offered by Fulfillment Express
Price: £11.91

2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Enjoyable listen, though the Tossers are running out of ideas..., 23 Dec. 2007
This review is from: Agony (Audio CD)
This is the latest release from the American-irish-folk-punk band; however I don't think it really follows the standard set by their previous albums. In my opinion, the tossers are gradually running out of ideas and this CD shows that in places - some of the songs are not really any different to their previous work. Their earlier CDs - notably `Purgatory' are a better indication of the tossers' best work. That's not to say it's a bad album, however, as there are some good songs. This album retains the usual mix of fast, mad and energetic songs, drinking songs and the odd slow, often dark, song.
`Siobhan' seems set to be the most popular song off the album, however you can't assume all the other songs to be `not as good' seeing that there are many great tunes here.
The album starts with `Never enough', which I guess is a typical tossers' tune with frequent changes in tempo, not dissimilar in structure to `Dicey Riley'. `Shade' is the first slower song with the calm strums of mandolin and guitar accompanying Duggins' vocals however it doesn't even reach two minutes long which for me is a disappointment. `Siobhan' is probably one of the best songs on the album and is very catchy. `Leopardstown Races' for me is a waste of 5 and a half minutes of time, a slow, repetitive ditty that goes on for far too long. `Claddagh' is the next track, and one of my favourites, though there is one thing I really don't like about this song - why, why are there no drums? I think a song like this needs some sort of beat.
Quite often on CD's, the songs nearer the end are just filler tracks but I wouldn't say that this is the case here. `Not alone' is a song with dark lyrics that many people experience, accompanied by a heavy drum beat and a feeble mandolin note, while `Romany', `Movin' On' and `Be' are all good songs.
Overall an interesting album - some good, some not so. Despite liking this album, I hope their next album improves on this, and I hope I can rate it 5 stars.


Waiting For Herb (Remastered & Expanded)
Waiting For Herb (Remastered & Expanded)
Price: £9.86

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Reasonably good album, but not really the Pogues., 11 Dec. 2007
I don't actually think this album is at all average, as it is said to be, I just think it isn't reminiscent of what a Pogues' fan would imagine them doing. I mean, if this album was created by any other band that had no history of writing raw, energetic Irish punk songs, then it would be considered a good album.
I have to say I was expecting much the same sort of stuff on `Waiting for Herb' as had been on `Rum, Sodomy...' and `If I Should Fall...' However I think once MacGowan was no longer part of the band they decided to go more mainstream and pop in their style, still retaining the Irish instrumentation but playing them in what I would call a more `modern' way.
Many of the songs on this CD are very likeable, with the odd exception such as `Girl From the Wadi Hammamat'. By all means carry on the Asian theme evident in `Hell's Ditch', the Pogues album prior to `Waiting for Herb', but when you have three songs like it, it gets a very `the same' feel to it, and it isn't at all impressing.
One major gripe I have is the awful sound effects put on at the start of `Drunken Boat', `Girl From the ...' and `Pachinko'. These in some places are 40 seconds in duration which is far too long and it doesn't add anything to the song, if anything spoils it a bit because you have to wait for half a minute before anything actually happens.
Now, to the songs themselves. Personally, I can't stand a few, notably `Girl from the Wadi Hammamat' (which I guess you've already picked up) and `Small Hours', both of which in my opinion are tedious songs, whoever records them. `Small Hours' fails to tick any boxes for me as a music fan at all; it's just simply the most boring song I think I've heard. I'm not a great fan either of `Sitting On Top Of The World' nor `My Baby's gone', although I must say that `My Baby's Gone' could be an excellent track if recorded by a rock band. To be honest, I don't either of the last two tracks are anything special.
My two personal favourites off the original `Waiting for Herb' line-up before re-mastering are `Haunting' and `Drunken Boat', probably because these are the only two songs which retain a bouncy rhythm and an Irish feel, and are good to sing along with (although `Haunting' is so fast that this can be difficult!).
The bonus tracks I think are also quite good as songs. `First Day of Forever' is generally not bad although if you then think of the fact that it was written by Phil Chevron, it becomes slightly more mediocre. `Train kept Rolling On' is the best of the three bonus tracks by a mile and I can't see why it didn't make the original album. `Paris St. Germaine', is a song that I think would have been suited more with Terry Woods singing and without a dull concertina/tin whistle duet at the start.
To sum up: half-an-half - one half fun and catchy, the other half too pop & rock. It's not what the Pogues do and I don't think the experiments have worked. But I can't let this take anything away from the songs on the album that are decent...


The Meanest Of Times
The Meanest Of Times
Price: £7.99

7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Meanest of Times, 30 Oct. 2007
This review is from: The Meanest Of Times (Audio CD)
Like all the previous DKM albums, this is a top quality CD made by a top quality artist. There is a good range and variety of tracks including 'State of Massachusetts' with its catchy banjo riff, 'Flannigan's Ball' featuring Ronnie Drew (dubliners) & Spider Stacy (pogues) and typical Dropkick Murphy's songs such as 'God Willing'. Overall, an album i would highly recommend


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