Saturday, April 15, 2006

The Welch Boys - Self Titled CD Review

All right, time to call up a few of your boys, grab a pint or 15, head out to that old beat-up and run-down house that you call home, start drinking, crank up The Welch Boys, and have one rowdy, rash, drunken night of pretending you’re Irish, getting slappy drunk, and bouncing around to another Bostonian street punk band. If you’re drunk you’ll probably think this is some of the best Irish punk you’ve ever heard, but if you take it in sober, you’ll quickly realize that they don’t hold a candle to the current kings — The Dropkick Murphys.

For what seems like ages, The Dropkick Murphys have had the Irish punk crown held high on the top of their heads with no signs of giving it up… well, except for when they let Flogging Molly hold the title every now and again. Other than them, there have also been the occasional challengers (Lost City Angels anyone?) to the throne, but none have had the mustard to make Dropkick fans waver in their utter dedication to their band of choice. Derision was about all any challenger could expect, and there was a good reason why — most of them just didn’t do anything more than rehash Dropkick’s style and riffs. The Welch Boys are yet another challenger hoping to stand atop the genre’s pedestal, but as fun as their self titled debut is, they sadly fall into the dark depths of Dropkick rip-off territory.

The similarities are just too many to ignore. Both bands hail from Boston and stem from Irish roots. Each shares the same value set of unity, brotherhood, and having fun. There have been songs written by both about having friends sent to war, loving their hometown city, and standing up for what they believe in. They both have a street punk sound filled with quick, dirty riffs, gang choruses, and a bouncy playfulness. And that’s just the obvious similarities. Now considering that Dropkick was the first of the two that did all of these things, and with their enormous amount of exposure in the punk world, it is really hard to see The Welch Boys in a creative light.

With all of that said, however, if you don’t happen to have a Dropkick CD on hand then, dammit, this is the next best thing! It’s apparent that the Boys are here to live up their heritage, have utterly ridiculous amounts of fun, and drink tons of beer — popularity be damned! So get back to drinking and acting like there’s no tomorrow, it’s what the Boys would want you to do.

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