2017-01-27 ALBUM REVIEW – THE MAHONES "25 Years of Irish Punk-The Very Best" (2016)

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The Mahones “The Very Best – 25 Years of Irish Punk” Whiskey Devils Records WDR-CD5980 /Wolverine Records WRR 222
Release date: Augsut 26, 2016
Running time: 1h14min20sec,21 tracks

After 25 years on the road, The Mahones decided to release a definitive best of album to celebrate their anniversary. The Mahones had previously issued a couple of greatest hits compilations, “The Best of The Mahones” (2003, 17 tracks) and “Irish Punk Collection” (2007, 17 tracks). As four new studio albums have been delivered by The Mahones since 2007, quite a few amazing songs have been added to the band’s repertoire. Therefore, Finny and Katie thought that they should offer to their fans an ultimate collection. Not only would make the new album the songs recorded after “Irish Punk Collection”, but their earlier well-known songs would be given a new lease of life. Then, they re-recorded 16 songs to sound exactly like they are regularly performed live and those songs were put together with some original versions from “The Hunger & The Fight” albums. As there’s an unwritten rule that says that a best of album must include a previously unreleased song, “new” member Scruffy recorded a pipes intro.

So, “The Very Best – 25 Years of Irish Punk” consists of 9 old songs that can be found on the previous best of albums, a new unreleased song (“Scruffy’s Intro”), 1 song from “Live in Italy” (“Wild Rover”), 9 songs from their last 4 albums and a studio version of “Teenage Kicks”. No songs from “The Hellfire Club Sessions” and “Take no Prisoners” can be found on this new album.

The final result kicks ass. All the songs have been given the current Mahones treatment, with a live atmosphere and great tin whistle and/or fiddle arrangements. IMHO, the album is spotless till track 17, “The Hunger & The Fight” included. Regarding the last 4 tracks, I would have chosen other self-penned songs (some interesting numbers from “Angel & Devils” and “The Hunger & The Fight Part I” were unfortunately left behind) instead of the covers. Anyway, I understand that Finny and Katie wanted to showcase the punk edge of the band too.

Remember that The Mahones will be touring Europe from mid-February to mid-March 2017 with The Whiskey of the Damned member Gina Romantini on fiddle and with SIR REG as support on some gigs.


Tracklisting:

01 – Scruffy’s Intro 1:19
02 – A Great Night On the Lash 3:51
03 – Paint the Town Red 3:20
04 – Shakespeare Road 4:28
05 – Give It All You Got 3:55
06 – A Drunken Night In Dublin 3:28
07 – Ghost of a Whiskey Devil 4:16
08 – Across the USA 3:01
09 – Streets of New York 3:57
10 – Queen and Tequila 3:12
11 – One Last Shot 3:14
12 – Down the Boozer 3:45
13 – Angels and Devils 3:39
14 – Is This Bar Open ‘Til Tomorrow 4:18
15 – Teenage Kicks 2:22
16 – Drunken Lazy Bastard 4:35
17 – The Hunger & the Fight 4:39
18 – Punk Rock Saved My Life 4:05
19 – Last One To Die 2:23
20 – Alternative Ulster 2:53
21 – Wild Rover (Live) 3:32    

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Review by Kinksmarkham

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