I have to say, this has to be the band's most impressive and venerable release to date, and may very well prove to be a musical milestone for the band. Now, before I go on, let me assure you, I'm not that easily impressed, having been involved in the music industry in one way or another for some 15 years, I've become somewhat jaded and aporetic regarding new music (especially from local talent) , and hence I'm rarely this enthusiastic about an album.
I've known The McKenzies for a long time and worked with them on a few occasions over the years, and although I've always enjoyed their music, there was never really any particular song that would be exalted enough to inspire me buy the whole album.... something that very few songs/bands have ever managed to attain. But after hearing the first few tracks, I knew this would be one of those albums that I actually would go out of my way to buy, if I didn't already have it.
So whats so great about this particular McKenzies recording, you may ask? ... well, pretty much everything! This is one of those rare albums that you listen to and not once do you get the urge fast forward to the next track. And almost* every song is arresting enough to make you want to listen to it again immediatley after it's done, starting with the first track, a tight yet smooth rendition of a Robbie Burns poem called "Smoking Bowl" ( I say almost because one track, another Burn's traditional "Coming Through The Rye" fails to impress me like the rest of the songs do, but then again, they didn't write it, so it's all good) .
It is immediatley apparent that Fatty McMichael (Fat Mike from NOFX, Fat Wreck Chords) is a major contributor to this album, not only in terms of the outstanding production, but also as he sneaks in some "Fat grooves" as the bass player on many of the tracks. That is not to say that the songs Fat Mike doesn't play on are any less momentous... infact, Little Joe ( formerly of Rich Kids on LSD) serves up some wicked bass on these tracks, most notably, during an instrumental with only drums, bass, and bagpipes (The Ale is Dear).
Anyway, I could go on and on about all the reasons you should check out this CD, but I know it's not neccessary. There is so much kick ass material on this album, I think everyone will find it hard to resist picking up a copy, and that includes those who have never listened to them before.
Now regarding the previous reviewer's comments:
A: Mr Paul McKenzie is Scottish and hence has every right to his accent, which probably sounds "put on" due to the fact that he drinks like a fish.
B: Bugger Off is a traditional so if the lyrics are lame, slam your ancestors for writing them.
C: Will ye no condemn others for speaking how they want to.
D: For a proud Scottish performer, drinking and entertaining does NOT get old, it just gets better like whiskey in a barrel.
E: Everyone is entitled to their opinions, but yours seem based on some friends' reaction to hearing something they don't relate to. If your friends were slamming the album, they are probably too young to get it, just as Good Charlotte and Green Day will never get what it means to be punk.