These upstart Milwaukeeans, led by Dubliner, Eoin McCarthy, are like a light in the darkness, with Punk Rock over the years, having become so commercialized, pretentious, plastic and sterile, and another product to market to the brain-dead masses, these Punk Rockers are not victims of fashion, nor obsessed with image, they are just downtown scally wags who drink too much, don’t care what you or your neighbors think and just want to travel the land like modern day Johnny Appleseeds, planting the seeds of rebellion, discontent, discord, do it your self ethics, and most of all, down home, damn good melodies.
1st track, “The Wreck”, is like a hobo harmony that has been cooked over the hot coals of the Rustbelt. Rusty, musty, crusty, dusty and delirious, but delicious to your ears, you imagine music that would have come out of some Frankenstein music monster created by a mad scientist who was able to fuse the genes of a Motown band, spliced with the genes of the Pogues and then injecting them with the DNA of Lester Flatt and Earl Scruggs. It’s a diabolical musical experience that only the Whiskey Of The Damned can summon.
So many superb rockers and ballads on this husky hobo musical platter, but the 2nd track, “Thump Keg” really steals the show like a theif in the night, a fast moving lament to Dublin, that makes you want to dive head first into the intoxicating rhythms of Milwaukee’s musical Beast (because music is soothing this beer-soaked banshee) , Whiskey Of The Damned, a song that sings of personal freedom, whiskey, rock n’ roll, life’s journey, and the existential quest of liberation through gut rot hooch and hobo harmonies.
Next, “Enemy of the State” begins with a deceptively calm fiddle introduction and then storms in like a gale force wind, thundering bass, eletronic guitar, unholy drumming and the hypnotic singing of Eoin McCarthy. warning listeners that Nietzsche was right when he commented that,;
“……State is the name of the coldest of all cold monsters. Coldly it lies; and this lie slips from it’s mouth:
‘I, the state, am the people.’ ”
But I really don’t want to give away too much, curious readers, but suffice to say that this rowdy punk rocking jig is reason enough for you to want to sip deep from the whiskey wells of Whiskey Of the Damned. And I would be remiss not to mention that , if Eoin’s tribute to Dublin, “El Biblio Techa” and drummer, (guitarist and lead vocalist on occasion,) Andrew David Weber’s assault on dirty politicians and the corrupt nature of politics in “Cheap Whiskey”, and my all time favorite track on this kick ass CD , “Wayward Waltz of A Drunken Ghost”, is not enough of a reason to make you a life long fan, than you sir or madam, have no soul. And anyone who hears the beautiful harmonies in “Wayward Waltz of A Drunken Ghost” which are nothing short of brilliant, will understand why the Whiskey Of The Damned, are indeed, living legends, in my humble often, loud , opinion.
- Rory Dubhdara, Radio Rebel Gael