I’m all for something big, bouncy and jiggy – the Dropkick Murphys are a great example. Humour, catchy rhythms and a belting beat combine to make music that’s so worth listening to. Welcome to the fold another example of Irish-drenched rock fun: Sir Reg.
The band are due to head out on tour in a week or so (I’ll miss the Glasgow date as I’m out of the country), and have recently released their latest LP. The Underdogs is 11 tracks of gorgeous mayhem. Pick a stereotype or a trope and it’s hit upon with good humour and earworm intensity – giving up the demon drink, having a fight… hell there’s even a track called “Stereotypical Drunken Feckin’ Irish Song”. Sir Reg know better than to take this style of music too seriously. So they don’t.
Amongst the guitars and drums, there are a smattering of traditional instruments. The fiddle and mandolin have main parts, but there’s also a whistle of some description which takes the lead in instrumental number “Cairbre”, a corker of a track. Great as it is, it pales into insignificance next to “Conor McGregor” and “FOOL (Fight Of Our Lives)”, both of which should have you bouncing off the walls.
Just for variety the album ends with a much gentler number, “Sinner of the Century” which does seem a little out of place. It’s recognisable as being by Sir Reg and deserves its spot here, but it comes at an odd point in the album and doesn’t exactly encourage an immediate replay. I just feel it would have worked better as an interlude than popped on the end where it almost has an air of finality about it.
Minor running order criticism aside, this is a cracking album and bodes well for the band’s live show. If they can transfer this energy from the stage and into the crowd then most venues should be able to turn off the mains electricity and power themselves from the action. The Underdogs is as good a Celtic/punk rock album as you’re likely to get.