Several years ago my band American Thread was playing out in the Boston area pretty regularly and we played a bunch of shows at John Harvard’s Brewery. A friend of ours had a Trad Irish three piece called Paint The Corner and they would play with us most shows. They looked like punks but played some of the best Trad around for my money and we were lucky enough to have them sit in with us when we dipped into our Irish tunes.
Anyways, fast forward to now and Paint The Corner is only a memory as they broke up pretty soon after our third show together. Their Bagpiper/Bohdran/Whistle player Shane Welch joined up with a great crew and started Mickey Rickshaw which I like to describe as “everything I want the Dropkick Murphy’s to be”.
Romeo SidVicious reviewed their first album “No Heaven For Heroes” on the site last year and it’s my pleasure to spread the word on their second full length “Behind the 8 Ball”.
The album starts out with the ripping punked up “Rats In Allston” and delivers on all levels. This is an anthem for anyone who’s been in the scene in Boston but will speak to everyone. Distorted guitars churn while the boys chant behind Lead Singer Mike Rivkee’s drum like cadence only to end in a blazing Tin Whistle/Banjo blaze.
The third track “Destitution Road” is an excellent cover of the great Roaring Jack tune. The boys do it justice in spades.
There’s for sure an anti-establishment theme here for sure. At heart I’m a folk guy and the thing I LOVE about this band is the depth of writing. Mike Rivkees has the writing chops to pull off a solo folk album if he wanted but I’m glad he’s being backed by a group of killer celtic/punk players.
My favorite track is “Nonprofit Warfare”. Coming in at 3:29 in length there is lot of meat on the bone here for sure but I find myself singing this one in my head daily,
“Can you smell the gasoline, Aleppo City’s Burning,
And nobody’s learning from a bloody history,
Can you hear the screams of a fleeting generation?
Across a bleeding nation two hundred thousand sleep.”
I’m glad to say that the Mickey Rickshaw boys are getting some great recognition for their music having played The Flogging Molly cruise last year and being invited to go again this year. I’m confident everyone who digs on the Celtic Punk genre will be talking about these boys in years to come.
It’s been awhile since I posted a review and now as usual I need to choose a tobacco and alcohol pairing for this album. It’s for sure feeling like a 4 pack of Murphy’s Stout cans with a Jameson chaser and pack of Marlboro reds. You’ll probably need a backup 12 pack of cheap beer to go with as well.