Killigans “Brown Bottle Hymnal”

Album Reviews | Sep 30th, 2006

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The Killigans formed in 2004 and began playing Irish/folk//rock music in the most likely Irish town of Lincoln, Nebraska. The band is comprised of the usual contingency of Irish/folk instruments such as a mandolin, a fiddle, an accordion and even bagpipes every now and then.

Most likely the band seems heavily influenced by similar sounding bands such as Flogging Molly and the Pogues. One could even mistake a few of their songs for some of the earlier Flogging Molly stuff. The success of Flogging Molly has obviously opened the floodgates for hundreds of sound-a-like bands, most of which may try to do the sound and play the part but fail miserably (see: the Tossers). The Killigans manage to come off with their own take on the Irish folk rock sound. Unlike Flogging Molly, the faster punk sound isn’t heard anywhere on Brown Bottle Hymnal. There are some faster songs in which you could dance a speedy jig to, but most of the songs have a roots rock base to them, a few of which drag on longer than they should like “Road Down” or “Story Of Tom Mathine”.

The songwriting was surprisingly good with songs about inner reflection, the working class Joe, drinking your sorrows away…you know the usual Irish stuff…as well as a few traditional arrangements and their best song “Radney’s Ghost” which was inspired by a chapter in “Moby Dick”. There are some high quality arrangements on Brown Bottle Hymnal and I wouldn’t be surprised to see The Killigans on an indie label in the near future.

I was pleasantly surprised to hear such a good record with no label support. I’m not a big fan off the Irish folk rock sound but I would have to say that I liked what I heard from the Killigans. The album moved along at a steady pace with a good variety of slow and fast songs with a wide variety of musical instruments being heard throughout the album keeping things fresh. If you like the Pogues, the Levellers, Flogging Molly or even the Tossers even though you probably have no Irish blood flowing through your veins, you’ll probably want to give the Killigans a listen.

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Notable Tracks: Lullaby For The Working Man, Radney’s Ghost, Lessons From The Empty Glass
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