The Real McKenzies – Shine Not Burn

© 2010 Fat Wreck Chords

Rating: ★★★☆☆

Shine Not Burn is a new 21 track live album, available now on Fat Wreck Chords, from the Scotch-Canadian folk punkers, The Real McKenzies. It is filled with rowdy booze fueled antics and 21 tracks powered by Scotts and scotch.

If you’re not familiar with The Real McKenzies, they’ve been around for a hundred years or so. Their music is to Scotland what the Dropkick Murphys are to Ireland. Is it folk? is it punk? Mostly a lot of both as well as being a lot of fun.

I’ve never had the pleasure of seeing the lads live, but by way of this disc, I can only imagine that it is a hell of a lot of positive fun. As an example of the positivity, in contrast to Flogging Molly, The McKenzies sing about the best day until tomorrow as opposed to the worst day since yesterday. Take that for what it’s worth I suppose. I like both of the bands.

At any rate, if you’re a fan of live albums, then by all means rock this one out. If not, I encourage to opt for the more polished studio discs; either way you’d be doing ok.

–Jerry Actually

My Life In Black & White

Cloudy Skies
(c) 2008 Horns Up Records
Rating: ★★★★☆

Where the heck were these guys when I lived in Portland? Not around I guess. I wish I would have would have been in town though. They sound like a hella good band. Folksy and punky with songs of sailing the seas and the drinking of beer. They swagger like Swingin’ Utters and The Pogues and rock out with less melodrama than most of the rain-addled cock-n-roll of many Portland bands. Cloudy Skies contains 12.5 tracks of the aforementioned variety of rock and it does not dissapoint. If you like the drinking and the singalongs and music that may make you want to steal a boat, then this one is for you. There’s more to it of course, but the jist of it is good time rock and roll. Enjoy!

–Jerry Actually