The Valley of the Shadow of Death

by

comment

Irish drinking songs and punk-rock fury go together like thongs and dollar bills. So does Southside Chicago and the Irish — having one of the highest concentrations of Celtic folk this side of the Emerald Isle. Influenced by the Pogues and Jameson Whiskey, the Windy City’s Tossers take a more traditional stance on Celtic punk than Boston old-schoolers Dropkick Murphys, and a grittier approach than Los Angeles’ Flogging Molly. The record opens with “Goodmornin’ Da” — a jig-happy ode to lost causes. “No Loot, No Booze, No Fun” finds the tipsy mandolinist and vocalist Tony Duggins’ homage to the addictions of Dee Dee Ramone. It’s not all drunken debauchery for the septet. “Go Down, Witch Down” is a ghastly attempt at a poignant war allegory — but at least you can dance to it. The instrumentation — mandolin, accordion, tin whistle, banjo and fiddle — keeps the record from becoming exasperating, because even 50 minutes of Irish melodies is a bit much without a gutful of pints.

Dustin Walsh writes about music for Metro Times. Send comments to letters@metrotimes.com.

We welcome readers to submit letters regarding articles and content in Detroit Metro Times. Letters should be a minimum of 150 words, refer to content that has appeared on Detroit Metro Times, and must include the writer's full name, address, and phone number for verification purposes. No attachments will be considered. Writers of letters selected for publication will be notified via email. Letters may be edited and shortened for space.

Email us at letters@metrotimes.com.

Detroit Metro Times works for you, and your support is essential.

Our small but mighty local team works tirelessly to bring you high-quality, uncensored news and cultural coverage of Detroit and beyond.

Unlike many newspapers, ours is free – and we'd like to keep it that way, because we believe, now more than ever, everyone deserves access to accurate, independent coverage of their community.

Whether it's a one-time acknowledgement of this article or an ongoing pledge, your support helps keep Detroit's true free press free.