Release date: June 27, 2015
Running time: 46:46, 11 tracks
The Royal Spuds have just released their third album, "It's a Freakin' Freakshow", a CD that has been funded by their fans via Indiegogo. The Dutch band keeps on delivering their brand of Celtic/folk punk with a hard rock twist based on electric guitars, banjo and accordion.
The album starts with "Step Right Up", a number to welcome everybody to the feckin' freakshow. "The Feckin' Freakshow" is a circus/festive number with some ska drops and hypnotic accordion that is followed by the band's rendition of Pete St. John's "The Mero" (featuring Drunken Dolly). This ballad has been covered previously by Blood or Whiskey on their debut album and The Royal Spuds version is bloody brilliant. The first part has a metal ballad flavour and all the song is dominated by guitars and tin whistle (Micky Silver switches from accordion to whistle).
The next two numbers are amazing songs too. "Skipping Stones" is The Royal Spuds at its best: a blend of Irish balladeers sound and hard rock influences featuring kick-ass accordion, banjo and guitar. "Beatiful Girl" is a rocking number that reminds me of Big Bad Bollocks.
"Mary Goes Round" is a merry go round song. Once again, the Dutch guys move to the British folk rock territory. But they are also able to write excellent Celtic punk numbers and "Tonight I'm Stayin' in" is the proof. On "The Dying Rebel", a song reminiscent of "Young Ned of the Hill", the lads come back to Ireland. And then they drink some ciders and make us think of The Dreadnoughts with "Silver Lining".
If The Royal Spuds cover one of The Dubliners classic songs on track no. 3 "The Mero", they cover a Planxty classic song on track no. 10, "Follow Me Up to Carlow" (Curiously, this song was also covered by Blood or Whiskey on their second album). The Royal Spuds arrangements are top-notch.
The album finishes up with "Two More Pints", a fantastic folk-rock number on which Maarten van Vliet switches from banjo to mandolin.
The album artwork has been made by The Royal Spuds bassist and graphic designer Dave Schrijvers. I'm wondering if the guy on the cover is inspired on former Spanish Prime Minister José Luis Rodríguez Zapatero, as he looks like him :-)
"It's a Freakin' Freakshow" is the logical new step on The Royal Spuds flawless career. Fans of electric guitars on Celtic punk must be happy. Grab a copy asap!
01 - Intro 1:00
02 - The Feckin' Freakshow 4:32
03 - The Mero 4:31
04 - Skipping Stones 3:47
05 - Beautiful Girl 3:10
06 - Mary Goes Round 7:38
07 - Tonight I'm Stayin' In 3:17
08 - The Dying Rebel 5:01
09 - Silver Linings 3:58
10 - Follow Me Up To Carlow 4:09
11 - Two More Pints 5:20
Contact the band on Facebook to buy the CD
Review by Kinksmarkham