Release date: June 14,2017
Running time: 26:13, 8 tracks
Four years after the release of their debut album “King of Kings”, Black Anemone are back with their second album. The current personnel is Mattias Sandberg (vocals), Andreas “Anden” Svensson (rhythm guitar), Adam Bernström (drums), Martin Hjärtkvist (banjo, mandolin), Rickard “Rille” Olsson (bass), Nermin Festa (lead guitar), Fredrik “Affe” Nilsson (accordion), Axel Martinsson (fiddle) and Tilda Spross (tin whistle). This 9 piece line-up has released “In it for Life”, an 8 track album based on self-penned stuff and a couple of standards.
Their previous CD was a kick-ass album and Black Anemone have been able to deliver another amazing work. “Freedom and for All” is a fantastic upbeat number. This banjo driven song features gang vocals and fiddle. “Amber’s Plant” is another highlight. When the track kicks off, the banjo has a The Dubliners sound, but the accordion, banjo and rhythm section join in and the song evolves soon into a number with a Japanese Celtic punk catchy sound. “It’s a Shorter Life” is a personal fave. A different number, but a badass song. There is accordion, fiddle, mandolin, and awesome vocals and electric guitar work.
“Every Dog Has its Day” is not a cover of Flogging Molly’s song, but an excellent original song. Mandolin and accordion open the path for the rest of the band. There are hey shouts and an early Happy Ol’ McWeasel touch. Woah backing vocals can be heard on the title track “In it for Life”. Banjo and accordion are showcased on a cut that reminds me of The Dirty Artichokes. And “Hellhounds on my Back” has some gypsy influences and more electric guitar parts.
The two standards are “Drunken Sailor” and “Bank of the Roses”. “Drunken Sailor” is improved by the addition of a reel (“Drowsy Maggie“). “Bank of The Roses” follows a standard Celtic punk approach with mandolin, fiddle and electric guitar. Not as radical as the Rogue Scholars‘ take, but an addictive rendition anyway.
Black Anemone “In it for Life” comes in a jewel case. There is no booklet lyrics, only a card with the front artwork. The studio credits and thank-yous are stated on the rear cover, together with the track listing. The CD tray is transparent and the inlay depicts “Amber’s Point”.
After one EP and two albums there is no limit to Black Anemone’s career. The band from Jönköping writes infectious (Celtic) folk punk numbers in a fresh way. We love them and you should love them too.
1 – Freedom and for All 2:47
2 – Amber’s Point 3:51
3 – Every Dog Has It’s Day 4:14
4 – Drunken Sailor 2:29
5 – In It for Life 2:41
6 – It’s a Short Life (But a Merry One)
7 – Hellhounds on My Back 3:42
8 – Banks of the Roses 2:40
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Review by Kinksmarkham