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Release date: July 14, 2018
Running time: 21:53, 6 tracks
We have been following and supporting the Indonesian Celtic punk scene from our very beginning. However, after the release of “Wind from the Foreign Land – An Indonesian Celtic Punk Compilation” everybody in the Celtic punk scene admitted that something was happening in Indonesia. Then, The Cloves and The Tobacco “Across the Horizon” reached the 4th slot at our Best of 2016 (albums) and Black Rawk Dog “Suburban Folk Stories” reached the 2nd slot at our Best of 2017 (EPs). Only one or two Celtic punk CDs are released every year in Indonesia. But all of them are worth hearing.
The Barley Hops had previously released a couple of tracks that are still available for free download at Reverbnation. Fortunately the 6 piece band from Yogyakarta have finally issued their first CD, a 6 track EP titled “Rhymes from the Pub”. I guess that this recording will top the Best of 2018 (EPs) together with The Grinning Barretts EPs.
The EP kicks off with the title track. “Rhymes from the Pub” is not an instrumental, but the lyrics are so short that one may think that this number is a set of tunes featuring the “John Ryan’s Polka”. This track set the pace for the rest of the EP: kick ass mandolin, badass tin whistle and lots of guitar together with yeah shouts.
The next track is titled “Barleys Drinking Team”. Some pub voices and then the mandolin and the tin whistle open for the rest of the band. Electric guitar and tin whistle shine on this powerful number.
“Glory never Fades Away” is an upbeat number featuring amazing mandolin and more tin whistle and electric guitar. The Indonesian DNA is obvious on this awesome number.
Cut number 4 is called “Fare You Well”. Some train sounds and then The Barley Hops deliver another catchy Celtic punk number with woah backing vocals.
“Homeland” is my favourite number on “Rhyme from the Pubs” and sometimes reminds me of The Popes “Holloway Boulevard”. Great electric guitar work in The Clash vein too.
The 6 track EP is over with “Sunny Side of the Street”. No, this song cannot be found on the excellent Russian compilation “Tribute to the Pogues” (Happy Ol’ McWeasel covered this track on that album). The song gets the Indonesian Celtic punk treatment and it’s an enjoyable cover.
A reduced version of the EP can be bought from Bandcamp (only 2 tracks). If you’re interested in the full EP, then e-mail the band’s label: [email protected]
1 – Rhymes from the Pub 2:39
2 – Barley’s Drinking Team 3:26
3 – Glory Never fades away 3:44
4 – Fare You Well 4:35
5 – Homeland 4:22
6 – Sunny Side of the Street (The Pogues Cover) 2:55
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Review by Kinksmarkham