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2017-12-19 ALBUM REVIEW – THE O’REILLYS AND THE PADDYHATS "Sign of the Fighter" (2017)

The O’Reillys and The Paddyhats “Sign of the Fighter” Metalville MVO129
Release date: April 14, 2017
Running time: 41:43, 13 tracks

Amost four years passed between “Sound of Narrow Streets” (2012) and “Seven Hearts One Soul” (2016). But it took The O’Reillys & The Paddyhats only one year to release their third album “Sign of the Fighter” (2017). The German band is clearly at its peak: two albums in a row and the latest one has been issued by the Metalville label. If you’re thinking that the guys signed a deal and went straightaway to the studio to record hastily whatever they had, you’re wrong. “Sign of the Fighter” is a solid effort: it has 12 songs + a spoken number. Most of the songs are self-penned material and there are only two covers. As usual, the packaging is top-notch: a 6 panel digipack that comes with a 16 page booklet. Let alone, the production, a brilliant work by Jörg Umbreit.

The O’Reillys & The Paddyhats have reached a huge following on the scene. They are able to write upbeat numbers like “Barroom Lady” and “Irish Ways”. As they are rooted in the German Celtic punk / rock scene, they also arrange the songs in such a way that they gather influences from other essential German bands. “White River” and “Ghost of a Soldier” have a Mr. Irish Bastard spin on the choruses. And the fiddling on “Sign of the Fighter” and “Bucket of Blood” reminds me of Paddy Goes to Holyhead. I don’t know if influence is the right word, because it involves that they have listened to those bands. Surely, they are familiar with Mr. Irish Bastard, but maybe not with PGTH. Anyway, I‘m not trying to say that The O’Reillys & The Paddyhats are a copycat or a wannabe band. I mean that there is a German Celtic punk / rock sound and The O’Reillys & The Paddyhats have succeeded in taking it to the top.

Apart from those amazing numbers, I’d like to draw your attention to a couple of songs. First of all, they have revisited “Paddyhats”, a badass song whose original version can be found on their debut album. Secondly, they have delivered a poignant rendition of Simon & GarfunkelThe Boxer”. Their fellow countrymen Across the Border included a kick ass version of “The Boxer” on their “… But Life is Boring Sir Without Committing a Crime” EP in 1997. Both versions are brilliant and totally different. Great choice for a cover.

The album is available on the usual retailers and on the band’s store. As always I strongly recommend to buy a physical copy, CD or vinyl.


Track listing:

01. Sign of the Fighter 3:29
02. Come On Board 2:56
03. Barroom Lady 3:14
04. In Chains 3:13
05. Haul Away Joe 2:48
06. Irish Way 3:13
07. Interlude 1:21
08. White River 3:45
09. Bucket Of Blood 3:03
10. Old Gangs Lullaby 3:10
11. Paddyhats 4:04
12. Ghost of Soldier 3:25
13. Boxer 3:55








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