By now you all know my penchant for music with a touch of Irish influence. What you might not know is how much stuff out there sounds like rehashed Flogging Molly or Dropkick Murphys and just isn’t up to snuff. What this means is that I am actually picky about the bands that I listen to on a regular basis. When Brendan Ahern from American Thread dropped me a note about Mickey Rickshaw, an eight piece act out of Boston, I was a little reserved in my expectations because a lot of what’s out there is just not good, but I’ve learned to trust Brendan’s tastes so I gave it a chance and found myself pleasantly surprised.
Mike Rivkees had been writing songs for a few years while living in Australia, Fiji, and Italy. He ended up landing in Boston where he met Shane, the whistle player because of Pogues patch and from what he says this relationship snowballed in to an eight member band in less than a year. It’s no surprise that Boston spawned a punk outfit with Irish influences, at least not to most people, but based on having followed the scene for quite a while it’s a nice change to see it spawn an act that’s not just a carbon copy of other acts in the scene. And yes, the music will sound familiar, just like any other genre but at the same time the band’s take on it is original and fun. If you get right down to it, that’s my bar for this genre. If you can’t make me tap my foot or imagine singing along in a pub then I just don’t have time for it. Mickey Rickshaw makes me long for nights of too much Redbreast and questionable decisions which means they clear my threshold for good Irish-punk with relative ease.
I won’t make any claims about No Heaven For Heroes changing your life or even being socially redeeming but I will issue a warning that it could lead to a weekend of forgetting your own name, if you’re easily inspired to knock back a pint or twelve. While not every track is an inspiration to sacrifice one’s liver to the gods the tracks that tackle deeper topics are done in such a manner that they are still catchy in just the right way and interspersed in a manner to where they don’t feel preachy. It really wouldn’t be an Irish-punk album without some working-man’s politics but so many bands forget to have fun with it and Mickey Rickshaw doesn’t fall in to that trap. So go grab this one, enjoy yourself and say a little prayer that I’ll be able to resist the siren call of the bottle of Middleton Very Rare sitting on my desk, my boss is out-of-town and Mickey Rickshaw is making me question why day drinking is a bad idea.