“Istinnyy Irlandets (A True Irishman)” opens the album. This song was recently advanced by the band: kick-ass accordion, electric guitar and Anton’s rasp vocals.
The next number is titled “Winter Hill” and has a bluegrass intro, gang vocals and mandolin. Amazing song.
“Madlen (Madeleine)” is track no. 3. A lively intro with a Flogging Molly twist, but O’Hamsters add the electric guitar and the growls to move away to their own accordion driven territory.
The following cut “Sluchay v Speze” has a piano intro, but this is not a jazz club: the song bursts into a Celtic hardcore number. Accordion, whistle and electric guitar shift to a folkier end and then a little bit of ska is delivered before throwing more vocal energy by Anton and the gang.
Great mandolin and accordion intro for track no. 5, “Ugar”. Fast-paced Celtic-punk at its best.
“Will You Come to the Bower”, a The Dubliners standard, gets the O‘Hamsters treatment on the title track “Gde by my ni byvali”. Amazing guitar work towards the end of the song
“Khrani, Bozhe, ostrov Erin” features Vera Brenner on bagpipes. This song is in fact a Celtic punk rendition of “God Save Ireland”.
Track no. 8 is called “Batal’on Svyatogo Patrika (St. Patrick’s Battalion)”. O’Hamsters are able to deliver poignant songs too. Harmonica, electric guitar, mandolin and organ are showcased on this interesting song.
“Strannyy soyuz (Strange Alliance)” is another standard, this time “The Rising of the Moon”. Apart from the accordion, the tin whistle and Anton’s vocals, O’Hamsters add some guitar work.
“Cath Sulchuait” begins with tin whistle and percussion, but soon evolves into a Celtic punk number with some metal touches, gang vocals and a mandolin driven end.
High voltage too on track no. 11 “Ryzhiy Ayrish Boy (Auburn Irish)”. Even if there’s a short ska passage, the guitar leads the accordion and the tin whistle.
After all that energy, O’Hamsters calm down a little bit on the dancing tune “YA iz Konnakhta (I’m from Connaught)”. Fiddle is played by guest Anna Vasil’chenko from Ukranian band Kings & Beggars.
The album has come to its end, but O’Hamsters have thrown a couple of numbers as bonus tracks: the fast-paced anthem “Stakan (Glass)”, whose video was released at the end of 2015, and their cover of “The Sickbed of Cuchulainn” that was originally released on the Tribute to The Pogues album last year.
O’Hamsters “Gde by my ny byvaly” would be probably a top10 album at the end of the year. O’Hamsters’ passion, musicianship and arrangements make them an essential band. Yes, they don’t sing in English. So what? IMHO, they are one of the hottest bands in the European scene.
02. Winter Hill 03:20
03. Madlen 02:30
04. Sluchay v Speze 02:38
05. Ugar 03:23
06. Gde by my ni byvali 02:10
07. Khrani, Bozhe, ostrov Erin 03:12 (feat. Vera Brenner from F.R.A.M.,Kyiv, Ukraine, on bagpipes )
09. Strannyy soyuz 02:49
10. Cath Sulchuait 03:05
11. Ryzhiy Ayrish Boy 02:49
12. YA iz Konnakhta 02:26 (feat. Anna Vasil’chenko from Kings & Beggars on fiddle)
14. Lízhko Kukhulína (The Pogues cover) 3:00