Sunday, March 12, 2017

Pitmen "Back To The Pit"

(Crazy Love Records 2016)

Always On The Run
Grab Life By The Balls
You Are Not My Friend
Fifteen Dead
Zombie Rumble
Please Don't Call Me Baby
Hot Rod Hotel
You're The Reason Mommy Drinks
The Lonesome Boatman
Schnitzel Mit Kartoffelsalat
The House Of The Rising Sun
Baltimore Fire
One More Day

Jaysus Almighty it's been 16 years since the last Pitmen album. But judging by the heads on em they must have been downing gallons of youth syrup. The main reason the Pitmen stand out for me is they have a touch of Irish Folk to their sound. Indeed on their two previous albums there have been some finely executed cover versions of Irish Folk ditties...and this new album features a stomping rendition of Finbar Furey's The Lonesome Boatman. Front-man Christian had an Irish Folk outfit called Airím with Susanne Böhler and the eponymous 1999 album takes pride of place in my CD collection. So the new album...what's the craic with that I hear you cry? Well, Christian certainly knows how to pen an excellent song. He's written the bulk of the songs on here with Holger flexing his quill and his missus Carrie Donovan coming in on biro duties too. Now, before I go on, I want to bring up one negative. The booklet. It's just a single double-sided insert. I always like a proper booklet including lyrics. Especially for bands where English isn't their first language. But in this case it's pure aesthetics as the vocals are clear and the lyrics are perfectly annunciated. I think this is in no small part due to Christian's love of Irish music. He sings with an Irish accent for fuck sake the big German fecker. But anyway, in amongst the classic psychobilly fare, you'll also hear banjo and fiddle to give things a nice céilíbilly twist. The Pitmen have always been a melting pot of influences and this has never been as more evident as it is on this release. It has all the music I love all blended together in that Pitmen-esque style. Equal parts psychobilly, folk from both sides of the Atlantic, hard-as-fuck neo rockabilly and Celtabilly (I made that last genre up). The production and mixing is immaculate as is the instrumentation. Throw Christian's vocals on top of that and well, this album just shines. For a genre that's been around now for the bones of 40 years with 100s of sound-a-like bands, it's always refreshing to hear new output from a band like the Pitmen who are instantly recognisable owing in no small part to the fact that they don't sound like anyone else. They brought something new to the table back in 1998 and this album carries on that fine tradition.
The O'Prez

1 comment:

OKI OKSTAR said...

Thanx a lot for this excellent review��
And describing the mix as immaculate..makes me honored and proud��