Release date: October 1, 2016
Running time: 20:44, 5 tracks
Mick O’Toole’s second EP “1665 Pitchfork Rebellion” was the best EP of 2015 in our list. At the beginning of 2016, they released a kick-ass single featuring Jamie Oliver (UK Subs): “False Flag Collapse”. It was obvious then that the band had not run out of creativity. And their brand new EP “A Working Class Battalion” is the proof that they are still blessed by the Celtic/Folk punk gods.
These new songs have pushed the band forward. Mick O’Toole are evolving and I daresay that they have chosen the best possible way. Brilliant arrangements, catchy songs, infectious choruses … All of these things can be found on “A Working Class Battalion”.
“Still in Cider” is a perfect anthem: amazing banjo and an excellent vocals work. Don’t forget to check out the lyric video for this song.
“Boundaries” have a ska twist. Once again the vocal harmonies and the chorus are the band’s trade mark on this mandolin driven song.
The next number is called “A Traitor Born” and it reminds me of the Aussie band The Ramshackle Army.
Mick O’Toole don’t slow down with “What Was Once a Solid Foundation is Now a Collapsing Empire”, quite the contrary.
The closing track “As if it were to End” is one of my fave numbers together with the first one. Brit-Folk-pop at its best with an infectious banjo theme.
I have noticed that some fans tend to look down on the bands that polish their sound and/or that move to the so-called Celtic “pop” territory. For some people, Celtic/folk punk is usually linked to raucous sound and rough at the edges production. IMHO, this leads to an endogamic scene and fortunately some bands have a different view. For instance Mick O’Toole have been able to offer a brilliant EP where beautiful arrangements and spotless production meet a real punk attitude. Don’t expect big surprises on the best EPs of 2016 list: Mick O’Toole “A Working Class Battalion” will make the Top 3. I can’t wait for their debut album.
1 – Stil in Cider 3:39
2 – Boundaries 4:14
3 – A Traitor Born 5:00
4 – What Was Once a Solid Foundation is Now a Collapsing Empire 2:49
5 – As If it Were to End 4:52
Click to buy the EP
Review by Kinksmarkham