Release date: January 12, 2018
Running time: 47:54, 14 tracks
Tír Na nÓg is a name (with different spellings) that has been chosen by several bands. Tír na nÓg is a progressive-folk band founded in Dublin in 1969. Tir na N’Og is a Celtic rock band from Serbia formed in 2008 that changed its name to Alfapop when they started playing power pop. And Tir Na Nog is a Celtic rock band from Bavaria, Germany. “From the Gallows” is their fifth offering. They have previously released 3 albums and one EP: “After Work” (2.009), “Bitte Brew” (2.012), “Jack of Folk” (2.015) and “Ardacris” (2.016). Tir Na Nog is Volker Katzki (“Volker”, drums), Joachim Fink (“Joggl”, bass), Robert Meyer (“Robert”, lead vocals and acoustic guitar) Mathias Pracht (“Matze”, fiddle), and new members Sarah Kucharek (“Sarah”, vocals, futes) and Andreas Fingas (“Andi”, flutes, bagpipes).
Although three of the songs are related to the gallows subject (“Hangman’s Tale”, “Last Farewell” and maybe “O’Hanlon’s Last Words”), “From the Gallows” is not a concept album. Tir Na Nog uses traditional tunes or bits of tunes on some appealing songs. For instance, “Tam Lin” can be heard on “O’Hanlon’s Last Words”; “Gravel Walk” on “Hangman’s Tale”; and “Keel Row” and another tune on “Story of Me Life” (and no, it isn’t the Social Distortion song). There is a full instrumental number on “From the Gallows”: “Bastard Reel”. This cut is dedicated to Mr. Irish Bastard. Tir Na Nog say that they wrote that tune when the gig that they were supposed to play with Mr. Irish Bastard was cancelled because MIB singer hurt his leg. The instrumental features the traditional tune “The High Reel”.
Celtic punk fans will enjoy the kick ass tracks “3 Nights in Town” and “Shawn O’Malley” (a song on which guest Silvia Lehmeier plays banjo). A video was shot for “Shawn O’Malley”, check it out at the bottom. Together with them, some Celtic pop songs stand out: “Monster (in my Mind)”, with flute, tin whistle and fiddle, and “Black November”, where the rhythm section perfectly backs the rest of the band. “Firestorm” is another interesting track. Sarah sings lead vocals and there are fantastic oh-oh-oh backing vocals, fiddle and bagpipes.
The last track performed by Tir Na Nog is a cover of “Wenn ich ton bin”, a song by a band called Luna Luna. This is the last song to be played at a Tir Na Nog gig, and a previous version can be found on “Bitte Brew”.
The bonus tracks are Tir Na Nog’s songs that are performed by some friends: “Sometimes When I’m Drunk” (original version on “After Work”) is played by Kilkenny Knights while “Johann der Pirat” (“Johnny the Pirate” on “Jack of Folk”) by Nobody Knows. Good choice of songs and bands to close the album.
“From the Gallows” comes in a four panel digipack with an 8 page booklet. It has been released by Prosodia, the label run by Nobody Knows member Max.
I’m not familiar with the band’s previous CDs. But after having checked out their track listings, I can say that “From the Gallows” is their most personal work. Most of the tracks are self-penned songs and the band is really tight.
01. O’Hanlon’s Last Words 03:34
02. Hangman’s Tale 03:28
03. Firestorm 03:43
04. Monster (in my mind) 05:58
05. Last Farewell 03:54
06. 3 Nights in Town 02:31
07. Shaun O’Malley 02:41
08. Monday Stroll 03:30
09. Black November 03:55
10. Bastard Reel 01:45
11. Story of my Life 03:35
12. Wenn ich tot bin 03:23
13. Sometimes When I’m Drunk (Kilkenny Knights) 03:05
14. Johnny Pirate (Nobody Knows) 03:06
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Review by Kinksmarkham