Release date: October 7th, 2016
Running time: 42:39, 13 tracks
2016 is a great year for the Brazilian Celtic punk. Lugh have released their sophomore album, McMiners have issued an EP and RATS have delivered their debut album. Riot Aboard the Ship, or RATS, hail from Rio de Janeiro. Kito Vilela (vocals, guitar), Fernando Oliveira (banjo, mandolin), Bruno Pavio (Bass), Fernando Gajo (accordion) and Pedro “Falcon” Richaid released an interesting 6 track EP in 2014 and their debut album “Por terra, céu e mar” is really better than expected.
RATS visit different musical territories on “Por terra, céu e mar”, then I must say that the title is the right one “By road, sky and sea”. But the most important thing, they play different styles and they don’t fail. As a result, “Por terra, céu e mar” is a fantastic blend of folk-punk, country, polka and Irish music.
From the first number “O velho e o caõ” (“The Old Man and the Dog”), the listener can appreciate Gajo’s skills on accordion. Taking into account only this track, we could label RATS as the Brazilian Fiddler’s Green. Nevertheless, after listening the second track “Do meu jeito”, it’s clear that the banjo plays a major role too. Electric guitar is also present on this “circus music” infused song.
The electric guitar finds again its place on “Essa e daquelas” (“She’s One of Those”), a song with a catchy chorus. But the core of the album runs from track 4 to track 9. “Saloon 79” is a mandolin and accordion driven lively song. It tells the real story of Tony, an old lawyer that left his job and bought a bar. “Agradecei” has a medieval sounding whistle intro and a great chorus. The message, more or less, would be the following one: when we are fighting against adversity, we should be thankful to our friends, the women and the beers we drink, instead of crying. “Na Estrada” (“On the road”) is a festive country number with an accordion reminiscent of the Shane MacGowan and The Popes albums. “8475” has an Italian twist and could be defined as a The Dreadnoughts meet Talco instrumental. Finally, “Vôcé e eu” (“You and me”), is an excellent number with a western/cow-punk touch.
The following number, “Indomável”, is totally different and features guest Alex Navar (member of Brazilian Celtic metal band Tuatha De Danann) on uileann pipes. “Quando eu bebo demais” (“When I drink too much”) was previously released on their EP released in 2014. It’s a kick-ass song with a banjo sound that both Dropkick Murphys and Mick O’Toole fans will love. The beat goes faster little by little and finally the banjo goes crazy. Surely one of the most enjoyable numbers on the album.
“Medo” (“Fear”) is the only cover on “Por terra, céu e mar”. The original version can be found on the Brazilian band Cólera “Pela Paz em Todo Mundo” album (Ataque Frontal, 1986). RATS have worked very hard on the arrangements, and banjo and accordion really add something new to the song. A live video for the RATS cover can be watched on our YouTube channel.
“Depois de partir” (“After leaving”) is asong about friendship featuring drunken gang vocals, mandolin and accordion. The last song on the album is the title track “Por terra, céu e mar”. Brilliant closing number that includes the “McMahon’s Reel”. Once again, Alex Navar guests on uileann pipes.
If Punching Namard were the big Brazilian surprise of 2015, RATS have got that award for 2016. “Por terra céu e mar” is a well-balanced album showcasing Celtic punk, polka or cow-punk. Fortunately you won’t find there the usual pub standards, but a bunch of amazing self-penned songs and a fantastic instrumental. Contact Crasso Records and grab a copy, since this album will become soon a classic Celtic punk CD from an emerging scene.
01 – O Velho e o Cao 3:13
02 – Do Meu Jeito 2:59
03 – Essa é Daquelas 3:52
04 – Saloon 79 2:32
05 – Agradecei 3:33
06 – Na Estrada 3:38
07 – 8475 2:21
08 – Você e Eu 3:15
09 – Indomável 3:20
10 – Quando Eu Bebo Demais 3:00
11 – Medo 2:12
12 – Depois de Partir 4:21
13 – Por Terra, Céu e Mar 3:52
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Review by Kinksmarkham