The Real McKenzies Westwinds

© 2012 Fat Wreck Chords
Rating: ★★★★★★★★☆☆

Vancouver BC’s venerable Scottish torch bearers are at it once again with a new release. 2012’s Westwinds gives us 14 new tales of wild seas, bad luck, foolish ways and the drink.

For the uninitiated, The Real McKenzies are a Canadian Celt-Core band with a focus on Scotland as opposed to the more or less omnipresent Irish variety. The lads bring a be-kilted, bagpipe heavy, and a Mike Meyers-esque ala “So I married an Axe Murderer” variety of Scottish charm to the genre. For those in the know, Westwinds brings with it the quality and character that you’ve come to expect.

As with many bands that have any sort of duration, there is maturity in the songwriting especially as it pertains to the ability to work together and the quality of craftsmanship. In other words, the song writing isn’t suffering from age or boredom. While all the tracks are top notch in their own right, a few that standout for me are the opener, “The Tempest” and the self-deprecation of track 6, “Burnout”.

In the end, what you have is another fine release by the best damn Scottish-Canadian band in the world.

–Jerry Actually

The Real McKenzies – Off The Leash

(c) 2008 Fat Wreck Chords
Rating: ★★★☆☆

The Real McKenzies are to Scotland what the Dropkick Murphy’s are to Ireland. That is punk rock music with strong ties to cultural heritage. Like Dropkick, The Real McKenzies are displaced from their roots, but those roots still run deep. The new release, “Off the Leash”, will have you swearing that, “If it ain’t Scottish, it’s crap!” Though these fellows hail from the land of DOA and Michael J. Fox, their music still has the rebellious power of William Wallace. “Off The Leash” delivers 13 tracks of Scotted up punk, all of them totally sweet. If you like your punk anthemic and Celtic culturalocentric, don’t hesitate to let your self off the leash and go buy this disc. Ha! I made a less than humorous reference to the title of the CD in the review itself. That makes it a good review; kinda like movies that use the name of the movie in the dialog of the movie. I win! One to nothin’

–Jerry Actually