There is an episode of The Sopranos in which a character describes having seen purgatory, and it being an Irish bar in New York where it is always St Patrick’s Day. Your gut response to the thought of finding yourself in this scenario will probably tell you whether you’re going to like Happy Ol’ McWeasel or not. Imagine early Green Day playing songs by the Dubliners or the Pogues, in Slovenia. They do sing in English, but with Eastern European accents. It is a bizarre combination that doesn’t always work, but when it does, they’ve definitely got the fun factor [*slaps self for even going there*]. I’ve got to be honest and say that I don’t like all of the tracks on this album, but the ones that I do like, I think are fantastic. In this time of self-conscious trendiness, I think that it’s refreshing to hear something a little bit different.
Traditional folk tunes are mixed in with original numbers, with traditional Celtic instrumentation throughout. All the classic cliché tunes are there – Irish Rover, Drunken Sailor, Foggy Dew and Danny Boy for example. It is an extremely good version of 'Foggy Dew', implementing a heavy chugging guitar sound that almost turns it into a Metallica number. Frantic fiddles give a great accompaniment towards the end. The original numbers, however, are fairly average; the slowest number 'Still In The League' seems a bit redundant – they probably play that to give the audience opportunity to get another round of Guinness in, and the band chance to get their breath back. The musicianship is faultless throughout, and the production superb too.
Regardless of the actual music, they seem like a really genuine fun-loving and hard-working band, perhaps shining more in a live context. This is honest to god drinking music - I think that large quantities of alcohol may be part of the recipe for this band’s success and popularity in native Slovenia. With quotes on their website like: “We are a band of fat pigs, except for our bassist who can be classified to a specific group of rodents - Squirrels; and our singer who is a sort of a chubbier rodent, something along the lines of a Marmot” – I can’t help but like them. But I wouldn’t want to be stuck for eternity in a room with them.
Posted: Wed 17 October 2012 Total Views: 461Views Today: 0