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Medusa's Wake "Rascals & Rogues" CD :
Australia has spawned some legendary Celtic Rock; from Weddies Parties Anything in the 80's, from Melbourne, to Roaring Jack in the 80's and 90's in Sydney, as well as The Go Set, The Currency, and Catgut Mary, whom would once again put Melbourne on the map in the 21st century, not to mention, The Rumjacks and Rogue Scholars, from Surfer's Paradise on the Gold Coast, who have crafted their own unique Australian blend of Folk Rock. My point being, there is such great talent in the land down under, as Australia seems to be the incubator for countless Celtic Rock genius, Medusa's Wake, from Sydney, are definitely not an exception to the rule. Medusa's Wake are another shining illustration of Australia's strong tradition of creating brilliant and unmitigated Celtic Rock & Reel.
Beginning the 11 track album with an ebullient tribute to the rover and the drinker, this intro tune "Seldom Sober" is like a fresh blast of Tullamore Dew to your cerebellum, taking you on a rough and rowdy tour across the golden cobble stone steps of your inebriation (while using an extra liver as an automobile)a rousing tune that is like a three part program; a.) beginning with your infatuation with whiskey, b.)your courtship with Nancy Whiskey (being rocky, yet lively), c.) the intoxicated shot gun marriage itself, and after scars, bruises and you left a little black and blue and ordealing many trials and tribulations and atleast one near death experience d.) the final stage - Nancy Whiskey - me and you - we're finished ! And I want my liver back !
"Hobart Sailor" begins with a nice whistle intro and launches into a merry Tasmanian sing-a-long about a hearty Sea Dog and all that a sailors life has to offer, including a hearty swashbuckler-style choir, albeit one that might make you walk the plank after removing yourself of all your valuables. A damn fine Sea Shanty that makes you regret living a landlubbers life and might make you desire to steal a Galway Hooker (that's a boat, actually, not a prostitute) and begin an uncharted and unchained life of intense piracy, far from the grid, far from land and without bills-to-pay-every-quarter. A song like this really makes you day dream and want to break your suburban chains and leave behind all your worldly possessions and go free-bootin' through life.
Damn it Medusa's Wake ! There you go putting crazy ideas into my head. Crazy and genius though, are they all that different?
Afterwards, "Tilly Devine" is a great romantic tribute to the Razor-wielding Godmother of the Sydney Underworld, in the 1920's,30's, and 40's, and how she reigned supreme over the rackets and rogues of Sydney's gangs and their deadly turf wars. Some may have called Tilly Devine a psychopath, but Medusa's Wake take you off that battered shrinks couch and into the streets of Sydney to King's Cross and beyond, to rob and slash your way through these tough Sydney streets with the Queen of the Razor Blade at your side.
"Convicts Tale" keeps you thrilled to the gills, with another outlaw's chorus that teaches you a little about Australia's "Convict Legacy" without sounding like an old, crusty history teacher but a raucous bunch of urban buccaneers that will take you through the bowels of Hell, across the vast Pacific ocean, and bring you home without you having to lose an eye or catch some tropical malady, these rousing chords shall make you want to pogo, dance a jig or wrestle with your hated landlord (until he is firmly held in a headlock- where upon you demand that he lower the rent and fix those leaking pipes - or you're going to get medieval on his ass) and on the Catalpa, and away from Bantry Bay, these brawny Aussie chords will be a source of liberation for sure.
"Banshee's Wail" is a smashing onslaught on the parasites that are the cause of the working man's daily trials and tribulations, from the bastard landlord, to the British monarch to the sleazy politician, all those who make life that much harder for working class people. A truly spiritual song, even if it might seem political, its actually a tune that is part Ghost story, part Irish Lamentation, and yet another reason to cheer for these "Rascals & Rogues" that make up Medusa's Wake, and a definite reason for you to stop pinching the pennies, show some heart and get yourself a copy of "Rascals & Rogues" as soon as possible.
Next, "Lawlor's Lament" is an extraordinary Ramblers tune that is made that more exceptional by the stellar accordion playing of Ben Pattison and the uplifting vocals of Eddie Lawlor, who also plays a mean mandolin, complimented by Frank Sallie's singing, guitar strumming and harmonica harmonies. Not to forget the mighty percussion and the hands of proficient drummer Ron Clark, the bass thunder boom of Zane McRae and boisterous banjo and electrifycing guitar, thanks to John Coote. All in all, "Lawlor's Lament" really makes you want to guzzle a bottle of the finest whiskey, get on the dance floor and shake it while Medusa's Wake's music make the rafters quake and what is it about music like Medusa's Wake that makes you want to hijack a cruise ship, man it with all of your friends and stock it with a ten years supply of liquor and head out into the high seas and into the great expanse? Davy Jones wake up and come out of that deep sea coffin, I want you to hear some Medusa's Wake goddamnit !!
"Irish Sky" is yet another joyous tale of Irish emigration and all the triumphs and perils of the emigrant no matter where he or she travels, or where you happen to hang your hat at the end of the day,but also a euphoric tune that is all about embracing and enjoying life :
"Although my dreams are haunted......
Sometimes makes me cry
I hope someday I will return again
And lie beneath an Irish sky"
This tune really kicks ass, and any band that writes so many inspiring and uplifting and Rockin' jigs & Reels really has some mad skills and are blessed with mad genius.
Afterwards, "Branxton" is one of those let's-get-up-off-our-arses-and-make-the-rafters-shake kind of instumental song,
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