The Rumjacks are back with a brand new album ‘Hestia,’ and it’s a start of a new era for the band. They have brought in frontman Mike Rivkees from the Boston band Mickey Rickshaw, since the band parted ways with their former singer Frankie McLaughlin. With all of that stuff in the rearview mirror, the band has regrouped and honestly they haven’t sounded better!
The Rumjacks consists of members from all over the place, but they got their start in Australia. Most of the current members have since relocated to Europe. The album was recorded under strict Covid-conditions in Milan, Italy where the band stayed and created the new album through August-October 2020. Making an album in general has to be a pain in the ass with lots of drama, doing so under certain conditions had to be even more of a pain. The Rumjacks are mainly a Celtic punk band but mix a lot of other genres in there as well like punk, folk, ska and just plain rock and roll. I’ve listened to Rumjacks songs here and there with their former singer and enjoyed their music. Now that Mike has taken over frontman duties, the band have taken things to another level in the Celtic punk realm.
The album opens with “Naysayers,” that’s electric from the start, with even a little moment of some ska upstrokes in there to boot. I’ve heard some songs from Mickey Rickshaw but I think what Mike brings to the Rumjacks is a refreshing change. I’m not sure if it’s his vocals, songwriting or the combination of the two. The next track “Bullhead” is a blistering fast stand-out as well. I could see why this was one of their singles because it’s a good one! “Sainted Millions” was the first single off the album, at least I think it was. That caught my attention immediately, especially the catchy chorus. To hear that song live with fans singing along will be something else…well you know, when shows are a thing again. The song is definitely a highlight on the album.
“Tell Me What Happened” is mainly a punk song, with a hint of Celtic and some ska & reggae in the middle. I love when bands mix all the genres I love into one song. After that is “Rhythm Of Her Name,” and it’s a slightly slower tempo than the other songs but damn it’s an awesome one too. More of Celtic pop rock song than Flogging Molly/ DKM style Celtic punk. The rest of the album is fisting pumping, crowd sing-alongs, boot stomping music that would make most people dance & cheer…even sober people like myself! “Light in My Shadow” brings out the bagpipes and “Wanderust” will make people want to skank. The album ends with “Goodnight & Make Mends,” another rockin’ good tune that seems like a fitting song to end with. Great chorus, vocals, and the band just seems like on their A game. That pretty much sums up this 5th studio album from the Rumjacks. Just a friggin’ awesome Celtic punk album that’s coming out conveniently around St Patrick’s Day.
Bottom Line: The best Celtic punk album that I’ve heard in awhile!
Notable Tracks: Bullhead, Hestia, Sainted Millions, Rhythm Of Her Name, Light in my Shadow, Wanderust, Goodnight & Make Mends