Polka's Not Dead

The Dreadnoughts

Stomp Records, 2010


REVIEW BY: Duke Egbert


Celtic folk punk is, for me, a sort of ambiguous genre. If done well, it’s a thoroughly delightful romp through drinking, music, and being angry at the English. If done badly, it’s the musical equivalent of falling down several flights of stairsmy_heart_sings_the_harmony_web_ad_alt_250

So. When good, is very good; when bad, it’s not a happy thing. Good thing the Dreadnaughts’ Polka’s Not Dead is good. Pretty darn good, in fact. To be fair, however, they’re not purely Celtic. They will steal use as an influence anything and anywhere from Ireland to Russia to Klezmer to Viking War Chants. It’s a lot of diversity for a band who, according to their official biography, “began to play folk-punk in 2006 with a single goal: to make enough money to cover the cost of shots of Fireball whiskey at Vancouver’s notoriously seedy Ivanhoe hotel.”

So does it work? In a word, yeah. The musical food processor set on “Aggressively Puree” produces a pretty tasty dish; there are moments where the Dreadnaughts come closer to Gogol Bordello (I’m looking at you, “Sleep Is For The Weak”) or Balmorhea (“Za Smierc Przyjaciela”) than The Dropkick Murphys. Whether singing about poutine in French or body-slamming the traditional “Randy-Dandy-O,” Polka’s Not Dead is filled with energy, life, and fun. And yes, polka never dies; just ask the song “Polka Never Dies,” which I think I will have played loudly on a regular basis to annoy my neighbors.

If you’re into the Gaelic/world music mosh pit where bands like The Blaggards and The Pogues live, you should really check these guys out. By the time they celebrate cider, women, and song with “West Country Men,” you’ll be ready to join right in.

Rating: B+

User Rating: Not Yet Rated



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