2016-04-26 ALBUM REVIEW – FOX ‘ N ‘ FIRKIN "No Vacancy" (2016)

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Fox’n’Firkin “No Vacancy” Folk Til Ya Punk Records FTYP003
Release date. April 1st, 2016
Running time: 33:05, 10 tracks
After a couple of EPs and a single, the band from Brisbane Fox’n’Firkin has finally released their debut album “No Vacancy”. The CD is also the third album released by the label Folk’Til Ya Punk. Fox’n’Firkin are Adrian Kay (vocals, mandolin, banjo), Andrew Boyle (vocals, guitar), Leigh Mitchell (bass, vocals) and Robbie Fraser (drums, vocals). They can be defined as the Aussie Roughneck Riot. Yes, I know that the English band has an accordionist, a banjo player and a mandolin player, but Fox’n’Firkin have a member playing mandolin or banjo and have no accordionist. However, I feel that their musical approach is similar. Both bands are really appreciated by the Celtic punk community, but little by little they are following their own folk punk path and moving away from the standard Celtic punk approach. And their lyrics always deal with social issues (in this case “the treatment of indigenous populations, environmental degradation and asylum seeker policy“)

No Vacancy” kicks off with “Drink the Lot”, a mandolin driven song showcasing a tight rhythm section and a great chorus.

Track no. 2 is called “My Country’s Shame”. It’s faster than the previous number, with a metal twist.

The next song is the titled track, “No Vacancy” and it’s a ska punk number. It’s followed by “Long Road from Hell”, a personal fave featuring kick-ass banjo and amazing guitar work.

Fox’n’Firkin cover “El condor pasa” on the next track. Their rendition is based on the Simon and Garfunkel version and they have rearranged the lyrics. I think that it’s the second time that a folk-punk band covers a Simon and Garfunkel, since the German band Across the Border covered “The Boxer” on one of their EPs. Some bands have covered “Scarborough Fair”, another traditional number recorded by Simon and Garfunkel, but I’m not sure if they were inspired by their version. Fox’n’Firkin play “El condor pasa” in the Lexington Field vein.

Another album highlight, “Days Long Gone”. A mandolin led song with the band’s classic sound and more electric guitar.

The Violent Majority” has a cow punk twist, thanks to the banjo and the woah background vocals.

Bastard Brigade” gets a pirate punk treatment with lots of hey ho, mandolin and guitar while “Too Hip 4zzz” is a top-notch punk pop infused number.

Finally, “Burn the Rich” is the “different” song on the album due to its sound.

No Vacancy” has been produced by Fox’n’Firkin and Greg Arnott, engineered and mixed by Greg Arnott and mastered by Steve Smart. Additional mixing was done by Michael Buckland and Andrew Polzin. The artwork was made by Will Powell and the graphic design by Leigh Mitchell.

Tasmanian labed Folk‘Til Ya Punk has just started, but the albums that they have issued so far are helping to develop a new folk punk scene in Australia. Congrats to Folk’Til Ya Punk and Fox’n’Firkin for “No Vacancy”.

Tracklist:

01. Drink The Lot 03:29   
02. My Country’s Shame 02:39   
03. No Vacancy 03:26   
04. Long Road From Hell 04:10   
05. El Condor Pasa (If I Could) 03:00   
06. Days Long Gone 02:43   
07. The Violent Majority 03:22   
08. Bastard Brigade 02:48
09. Too Hip 4ZZZ 02:09
10. Burn The Rich 04:55

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Click to buy:

Folk til Ya Punk Store (click on the album cover)
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Review by Kinksmarkham

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