2017-07-12 ALBUM REVIEW – HOOLIGANS’ MOUNTAIN "Dalle strade, dalle valli" (2017)

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Hooligans’ Mountain “Dalle Strade, Dalle Valli”
Release date: Juli 14, 2017
Running time: 43:19, 10 tracks + hidden track

An important part of the Italian Celtic folk punk scene consists of bands that sing in their mother tongue. Apart from the godfathers of the Italian scene (Modena City Ramblers) bands such as Mosche di Velluto Grigio, Menneguinness, Kitchen Implosion, Lennon Kelly and Strawdaze, sing mainly in Italian. Even if every band has its own identity, all of them merge Celtic influences with Italian music.

Hooligans’ Mountain are Alberto “Bertu” Ughetti (bagpipes, clarinet, tin whistle), Davide “Dado” Benso (vocals, bass), Enrico “Ricu” Bruno (drums, percussion), Luca “Gene” Genero (accordion, fiddle, banjo) and Martin Campolongo (electric and acoustic guitar). They hail from the Turin region and they released a couple of tracks at the second half of 2015, “Indigeno” and “Balkanica”, where they blended Celtic music with Occitan, ska and Balkan sounds.

Hooligans’ Mountain debut album is titled “Dalle strade, dalle valli” (from the streets, from the valleys). They play an upbeat (Celtic) folk punk that shares a common ground with the likes of Strawdaze. The vast majority of the songs on “Dalle strade, dalle valli” follow that path. But there are also kick-ass intrumentals and an excellent number with an Italian traditional sound.

The core of the album are tracks from 1 to 3, track 6 and track 8.”Spettro” is a fast-paced number featuring bagpipes, accordion and fiddle. The vocals have a punk treatment and there is a short ska passage. “La Grolla dell’amicizia” is a tin whistle led folk-punk song with “hey hey” shouts. “Hermanos” deals with the relationship between Italia and Argentina. A huge percentage of the Argentinian population is from Italian origin. In fact, hermanos is a Spanish word, the Italian translation would be fratelli. The song starts with some claps, drunken vocals and the sound of the accordion. Soon the rhythm section and the tin whistle join the accordion, and then the vocals move to the DKM territory. There are plenty of gang vocals on “Non ci arrenderemo mai” too, another cut based on the accordion and the tin whistle. Finally, “Maraja” is a track with fantastic banjo picking and tin whistle playing.

Hooligans’ Mountain take a risk with “Passo dopo passo”. There is some ska, klezmer echoes thanks to the clarinet and female background vocals.

The two instrumentals are “Mazurca” and “Bourrée 4t”. The former is a dancing tune featuring accordion and tin whistle (and a tight rhythm section), while the latter is a lively folk rock tune.

Il Bersagliero” is a cut with an Italian folk flavor. Bagpipes can be heard again on a number that reminds me of Kitchen Implosion.

Hooligans’ MountainDalle strade, dalle valli” is a well-balanced album. Moreover, the production is excellent and all the acoustic instruments can be perfectly heard. BTW, there is a hidden track on “Dalle strade, dalle valli”. It’s one of the singles that were previously released. Which one? Buy the CD!

Track listing:

01 – Spettro
02 – La grolla dell’amicizia
03 – Hermanos
04 – Cita e bela Turin
05 – Passo dopo passo
06 – Non ci arrenderemo mai
07 – Mazurka
08 – Maraja
09 – Il bersagliero
10 – Bourée 4T

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Review by Kinksmarkham




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