2018-05-30 ALBUM REVIEW – MEDUSA’S WAKE "Rascals & Rogues" (2018)

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Medusa’s Wake “Rascals & Rogues”
Release date: June 1, 2018
Running time: 11 tracks, 43:05

Medusa’s Wake is a six piece band from Sydney, NSW, Australia. The band was first featured on our pages last April 16, 2016, some days after they released their 7 track EP.

Medusa’s Wake have been recording their debut album “Rascals & Rogues” in 2017 and 2018 and the 11 track CD will be released next June 1st. Between both recordings, the EP and the album, an accordion player joined the ranks and former bass player Brett Fish left the band. So, the current incarnation of the band is Eddie Lawlor (vocals, mandolin, tin whistle), Frank Sallie (vocals, acoustic guitar, harmonica), John Coote (electric guitar, banjo), Ron Clark (drums), Ben Pattinson (accordion) and Zane McRae (bass).

Two songs from their EP have been re-recorded and 3 out of 5 songs from the Ringtail Sessions from May 2017 can be found on their debut album too. All of the songs have been written by Ed Lawlor. Neither “Seldom Sober” is a cover of “I’m a Rover”, nor “Gates of Hell” is a cover of The Currency’s song with the same title. “Botany Bay” from the EP is now called “Convict’s Tale” and “Lawlor’s Lament” is the final title for the song “Come Away with Me” from the Ringtail Sessions.

Rascals & Rogues” kicks off with “Seldom Sober”: mandolin, some yee-has and the amazing accordion open for the rest of the band. Brilliant song with the Aussie-Irish DNA. It’s followed by “Hobart Sailor”. Tin whistle and mandolin are the main instruments on a song that has a The Rumjacks twist and whose chorus reminds me of “Hot Asphalt”.

Tilly Devine” is the longest track on “Rascals & Rogues”. The rhythm section give a tribal atmosphere while the vocals make me think of SIR REG.

Track no. 4 (“Convict’s Tale”) is one of my faves. Medusa’s Wake moves to the early The Rumjacks territory and Ben proofs that right now he’s the most interesting accordionist in the scene. “Banshee’s Wail” gets an electric treatment with a great work by John. “Lawlor’s Lament” is another highlight and Medusa’s Wake delivers a song that wouldn’t be out of place on any The Tossers album. Once again, Ben’s accordion shines.

Mandolin and accordion are the first instruments that are heard on “Irish Sky”. Then the full band joins and after a go! shout the song burst into a lively number. There is an electric guitar part and some accordion and mandolin towards the end. Another track that can rival with the best work by SIR REG.

Branxton” is a true gem! This instrumental number features mainly mandolin, percussion and shouts. I guess that it’s a live take in the studio. To finish up, Eddie says “All Right, thank you very much!” and then there are a lot of claps.

Harmonica can be heard on “Barney Dalton”, a Wedding, Parties, Anything meets Midnight Oil song.

The last two tracks on “Rascals and Rogues” are a couple of songs from the “EP”: the anthemic “No Nay Never” and the excellent “Gates of Hell”.

If you enjoyed Medusa’s WakeEP“, then you’ll love “Rascals & Rogues”. Only self-penned songs that have been perfectly arranged. And Ben has been the right addition to improve Eddie’s songs. Hats-off lads!

Track listing:

01 – Seldom Sober 2:52
02 – Hobart Sailor 3:00
03 – Tilly Devine 5:38
04 – Convicts Tale 4:22
05 – Banshee’s Wail 4:23
06 – Lawlor’s Lament 3:38

07 – Irish Sky 4:24
08 – Branxton 2.28
09 – Barney Dalton 4:14
10 – No Nay Never 4:16
11 – Gates of Hell 3:50

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Review by Kinksmarkham




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