Even if their songs are about far-off lands and Anglo-Saxon themes, I find it interesting that The Moorings claim themselves to be “folk punk” and not “Irish/Celtic punk”.
As a French person, making the link between our Celtic region and Britannia would have been tempting but this spirit is definitely not there. So as a fussy journalist and folk music lover, I would like to know if their Alsacian roots have an influence on their compositions… Maybe we’ll find out with this release.
Eammon Campbell (The Dubliners) said:
They’re like a cross between The Pogues, The Dubliners and themselves. They’ve got their own individual sound whilst incorporating other influences of an Irish punk style.
It says a lot but I feel this would rather suit a band like The Tossers. What was not mentioned, though it is understandable for many reasons, are their French songs. It’s a work that demands time and effort and I appreciate it because it’s worth it. This is where this special rawness through Denis’ voice is as its best along with classic punk tunes. The most representative example is “Mutins”. The violin introduction made me think of a folk version of the famous “Holidays in the Sun” by the Sex Pistols and I enjoyed the extended metaphor of the shady greedy captain relating to the current political situation in France and the mutiny call.
What is truly pleasant is that The Moorings are all about this balance with a certain softness and fortifying melodies. This is a feeling I had through Pints & Glory and, well, I’m happy to hear it’s still there in a different way through new elements.
“Les Bras Piqués” – a song about how it feels to have tattoos and the clichés surrounding it – speaks for itself. The frank lyrics are softened by the violin, the warm choirs and mumblings. “Amsterdam” kind of reminded me of a traditional French village dance song and the tale about the Dutch port only makes it better, just like the banjo parts opening and closing the track.
Also, I noticed that the marine theme was a regular feature throughout the album, be it with “Captain Watson’s Gang” or “The Mariner I Used To Be” which are both great songs.
Unbowed has its share of more contrasted compositions, from the good old drinking songs like “Drink Up Fast” to the sincerest and touching one, “Posy Of Lily”. The instrumental “The Dancy Cargo Hold’s Dance: Mermaid’s Jig” comes to complete and bring the brightest touch to the album.
The Moorings are a band I’m still running after to see in concert so I am glad that this album, which is rather good, will be released soon.
Unbowed is released on the 15th May.