The Rumjacks “Brass For Gold” Review

The Rumjacks
Brass For Gold
Four Four
Released: February 11, 2022

Grab your flat caps lads, The Rumjacks are back with new music on Brass For Gold, a fresh new EP.

With Saint Patrick’s day on the horizon, the Irish emerge from hibernation, and what better way to great them, than with a fresh collection of pub-ready Celtic punk rock songs. And a barrage of cold pints – sold separately. To say the Irish have ventured far and wide since the potato famine that caused them to sail away from the emerald isle somehow doesn’t seem to do it justice. I am convinced, that somewhere there remains an ingenious tribe that has never laid eyes on a white man, that are indeed half-Irish. Everybody is half Irish, even those that are not lay claim to Irish heritage. The Rumjacks themselves, an Celtic punk rock band, are in fact originally from Sydney, Australia.

Perhaps best known for their 2011 song An Irish Pub Song, off of their Gangs of New Holland album which is an observational commentary on the fact that there are Irish pubs in every part of the world, and a protest against what the band saw as a commercialization and inauthentic expression of Irish diaspora culture. The Rumjacks return with Brass For Gold, their newest works since 2021’s Hestia, and the first extended play they’ve since their debut and sophomore efforts that both came in 2009.

See Also: Face To Face “No Way Out But Through” Review

Last year’s Hestia was the first release from The Rumjacks since parting ways with their original singer, Frankie McLaughlin, when it came to light that McLaughlin had spent sixteen months in jail following several domestic violence charges eight years prior, and due to violent outbursts aimed at band members. Replacing McLaughlin, is Bostonian Mike Rivkees, who is also a member of Mickey Rickshaw, and Rivkees does wonders on Brass For Gold.

Despite being tagged as an EP, Brass For Gold still counts eight tracks that clock in at roughly twenty-five minutes in length. Songs such as On A Somber Saturday offer quality sing-a-long moments, catchy riffing and a good time. Across The Water is the counter version of the grass being greener on the other side, and seems to be a heartfelt song about leave the regrets of leaving home for greener pastures. American dreams. Both depressing and uplifting. On Blinding Flashes, the listener is privy to a great tin whistle segment, slow and somber. Brilliant. Straight up, Brass For Gold is a rollicking good time, filled with songs fit for a right piss up down the local pub.

Any band that walks a mile is this domain, will likely draw comparisons to the likes of The Mahones, Dropkick Murphys and Flogging Molly – that’s just the way it goes, but The Rumjacks stand apart. Occasionally you’ll hear a tin whistle, a harpsichord maybe, perhaps even a set of bagpipes, but the majority of the time, The Rumjacks are more focused on the puck rock side of things. Rowdy, pub-style shanty’s ripe with energetic jingles sure to get the blood flowing, stout sinkin’ and toes tapping.

“Brass For Gold is as much as an EP can possibly offer and still be called an EP. In true The Rumjacks fashion, these songs represent a variety of different stories. The topics range from lovesick nostalgia, to misfortunate war heroes, and a few lighthearted drinking songs for good measure,” Rivkees says, adding While some EP’s tend to be quite experimental, Brass For Gold represents a solid continuation of the newly reformed The Rumjacks. Once again stating, almost literally in some of the lyrics, we are passionate and dedicated songwriters.”

The band will head out on tour with Dropkick Murphys starting February 21st through March 20th. Then, their own headline tour runs May 1st through to May 28th.

For Fans Of: Dropkick Murphys, The Mahones, The Peelers
Track Listing:

01. Bounding Main
02. Bloodsoaked in Chorus
03. One for the Road
04. Kicking Soles
05. On A Somber Saturday
06. Across The Water
07. Blinding Flashes
08. Falling Back

Author Rating

  • overall
  • composition
  • enjoyment
  • production
  • variety
  • memorability