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2017-04-09 ALBUM REVIEW – McSCALLYWAG "Dirty Water" (2017)

McScallywag “Dirty Water”
Release date: February 1, 2017 (digital)
Running time: 26:46, 9 tracks

McScallywag are the latest addition to the burgeoning Dutch scene. They are  Ruud (drums), Ashley (guitar, vocals), Peter (bass), Frodo (accordion), Arian (banjo, mandolin, vocals), Talitha (cello, vocals) and Tom (guitar). This seven piece band hail from Groningen (North East of the Netherlands) and they released their 9 track debut album “Dirty Water” last December 9th  2016 at a party with their fellows Flannery.

The band’s sound is the classic Dutch approach and echoes from other bands from The Netherlands can be noticed. But there is also a German band twist, mainly in the accordion. In fact, Groningen is closed to the North of Germany, so this could be normal.

Billy’s Curse” is the opening track on “Dirty Water”. The song reminds me of Bunch of Bastards and the accordion and banjo are top-notch.

The next track is one of my faves: “Days of Travel“. The accordion and banjo are slow at the beginning. But all of a sudden, the band speeds up. There are some stops and go, and powerful chorus with gang vocals and fast-paced banjo and accordion.

Track no. 3 is called “The Road” and The Pogues influence is clear. Good work on the backing vocals that add the pub atmosphere to the song.

Letter to Megan” kicks off slowly with acoustic guitar and accordion and later the banjo jumps in. Finally, the song burst into a fast-paced Celtic punk number-

St. Patrick’s Day is gone, but McScallywags deliver a great “St. Paddy’s Anthem”. Amazing upbeat number to sing-along and another one of my faves on the album.

McScallywag follow a different approach on “Eye of the Storm”: Arian shifts from banjo to mandolin and Talitha sings lead vocals on this slower number.

Ashes to Ashes” moves away from the lively Celtic punk too. Vocal duties are shared by Ashley and Talitha, who also plays cello. Probably you won’t pay attention to this song at first hearing, but it will grow on you. One of the most interesting tracks on “Dirty Water”.

McScallywag come back to the standard Celtic punk territory on the closing tracks. “Whiskey I Love You” is a badass sing-a-long number with an early Dropkick Murphys twist (“Boys on the Docks”). And “Johnny Went Away” is an awesome mandolin driven number to file together with Circle J’s early stuff

McScallywagDirty Water” comes in a four panel digipack. There’s a band picture, thank-you section and track listing. No lyrics leaflet is included, but they can be found at the band’s website. “Dirty Water” is a fantastic whiskey soaked albums that banjo and accordion lovers will enjoy.

Track listing:

1 – Billy’s Curse 2:51
2 – Days of Travel 2:59
3 – The Road 4:20
4 – Letter to Megan 2:44
5 – St. Paddy’s Anthem 2:51
6 – Eye of the Storm 2:34
7 – Ashes to Ashes 4:13
8 – Whiskey I Love You 2:05
9 – Johnny Went Away 2:05


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Review by Kinksmarkham

Rated 4.5/5 based on 486 customer reviews

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