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Release date: October 10, 2018
Running time: 41:19, 12 tracks
In Search of A Rose are back with a badass album. This German band was established in Lemgo in 1992 and they released a bunch of recordings in the 90s: the cassette demo “Pirates of Folk” (1.993), the albums “Conquering” (1.995), “Fresh Lotus Surprise” (1.997) and “Extravaganza” (2.000) and the 6 track EP “Freaks” (1.996). If the sextet was very active during their first 8 years, they turned into a five piece band and only recorded 3 albums in the next 18 years: the brilliant “Kind on Green” (2008), their 20th anniversary live album “Reels and Roses Live” (2012, review HERE) and their brand new studio album “Horses for Courses”.
In Search of a Rose “Horse for Courses” is a well balanced mix of Irish and American sounds.The most amazing thing is that 4 original members are still on board, Ebl, Maze, Rudi and MacGable. Joanne also recorded their previous album and she keeps up her good work on fiddle.The album kicks off with “Paddywhackery”, a piss-take about the Celtic punk scene in Germany. This song is a sort of German answer to The Real McKenzies song “Fuck the Real McKenzies” from their latest album “Two Devils will Talk”. So, “Paddywhackery” is an addictive Celtic punk number where the likes of Mr. Irish Bastard, The O’Reillys & The Paddyhats, Fiddler’s Green, The Ceili Family and Andrew Watts aka Spider Mahone are mentioned. BTW, the lyrics to the next song, “Sentry”, were written by Andrew about his experience in Afghanistan. The song features harmonica and has a The Waterboys feel.
“Somerset Cider” is another standout number, a Celtic punk song with an American twist. You can listen to an edited version of this song on the second video at the bottom of this post. This song is a tribute to Bath, an English town where the band lived.
“Rebel Town” is a recurrent title in In Search of a Rose discography. The new one is called “Rebel Town 4.0” and the guitar at the beginning reminds me of Christy Moore’s albums from the end of the 80’s. Nice fiddle at the end of the song too.
The excellent “Buckfast Girl” is an upbeat number featuring accordion and fiddle. This one will become a live fave too.
“London N21” has a reggae sound. Not my cup of tea, but fortunately there’s a fiddle tune that saves the song.
“Idilia Dubb” is a song about the tragedy of a Scottish girl visiting the river Rhine in 1.851. It’s followed by one of my fave tracks on the album, the set of tunes “Transatlantic”. Kick ass fiddle and tin whistle.
In Search of a Rose cover the Swedish folk punk band Tequila Girls on “Harbour of Souls”. Awesome rendition that has The Waterboys sound too. The boys and girl are delivering in a row some fantastic songs and the next one keeps up the level. If you bought the band’s previous album, you should be familiar with the infectious anthem “Rebel Fritzpatrick”. I’ve not found any sample for this studio version, but I’ve added the longer live version from “Reels and Roses Live” at the bottom. Enjoy!
To finish up, more shamrockandroll on the rocking “Hay, Straw and Gold” and some bluegrass on “The Whole World Round”, where ISOAR give a new lease of life to The Dillards song.
01 – Paddywhackery 3:21
02 – Sentry 3:52
03 – Somerset Cider 3:23
04 – Rebel Town 4.0 3:35
05 – Buckfast Girl 3:49
06 – London N21 3:55
07 – Idilia Dubb 3:44
08 – Transatlantic 2:59
09 – Harbour of the Souls 4:21
10 – Farewell (Rebel Fritzpatrick) 3:06
11 – Hay, Straw And Gold 3:06
12 – Whole World Round 2:04
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Review by Kinksmarkham