The Greenland Whalefishers – “Down And Out”

Album Reviews | May 30th, 2006

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Record Label: Pathwork Record Production
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I discovered this band through word-of mouth and found some songs on the file-sharing circuit. Yes I admit to that and happy for it because I found an awesome Celtic punk band from Norway. The Greenland Whalefishers are Norway’s answer to the Pogues, and anyone who’s ever listened to them will know why. The lead singer Arvid has a very similar singing style to Shane MacGowan’s and is also a good song writer as well. When I first heard this band, I thought it was Shane singing guest vocals or something. The band does sound slightly different to the Pogues though, and have created a sound that stands out from other Celtic bands. The Greenland Whalefishers play their music more punkier, and seem to be more energetic than the Pogues (if that’s possible).

This is their fourth full-length album (along with some EPs as well) and they haven’t let up. I still think their strongest album to date is “Loboville” and I think that album is pretty damn flawless. “Down and Out” starts off with GWF’s single “Hit The Ground” and it sounds great! The second track I like a lot too because of the bagpipes that are used towards the middle of the song. It’s kind of funny, but that part reminds me of a song from Jethro Tull called “The Third Hoorah.” Yes i’m a Tull fan okay!

This album is similar to their previous album “Streets of Salvation,” but I think it’s better in terms of song writing. The track that stood out from that was “No More Crucified Days” and is still one of my favorite GWF’s songs. The song that clearly stands out in my mind is “Punk Rock Shanty.” It stands out from the others because it’s done in a different way, and it’s really catchy. Not to say the other tracks aren’t catchy, but “Punk Rock Shanty” is the most catchiest. I think the band does a great job of playing the fast songs. When it comes time to slow it down, they do a good job with that too. An example of them slowing it down and doing it well is for the song “Down and Out.” Some bands just can’t cut it when it comes to playing both fast & slow songs but GWF can! Even the instrumentals are worth listening to and usually I get bored with those but not with this band. There’s 13 songs in all, and ending the album is a cool song about the love of the Ramones. This album was fun to listen to, each song was played well and I didn’t have a urge to skip any tracks. I know i’m going to be listening to this one over and over again. I’m glad to have found out about this band, and can’t wait to see them play live (if they ever get their Norwegian asses over to America). If you are looking for some Pogues-influenced Celtic punk, than look no further than The Greenland Whalefishers!

Bottom Line: If you like the Pogues, you’ll absolutely love GWF’s new album “Down and Out.” EXCELLENT STUFF!
Notable Tracks: Hit The Ground, Rocky Road To London, Molly’s Lullaby, Down and Out, Punk Rock Shanty, Ramones
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