Brass for Gold – The Rumjacks
The Rumjacks are a rock band with heavy traditional Irish influences, originating from Australia. They have been active since 2008 and caught my ears many years ago with the single Crosses for Eyes, which included two awesome songs. I can’t say that they’ve been on my radar that much between that single and their album Hestia, which was released last year, though. That album blew some awesome fresh air into the genre, and is a reason I was excited for this new release.
The three “singles” released on streaming before the full EP Brass for Gold, which is a generous eight tracks, impressed me. They are also the songs opening the EP, and it’s a really strong opening. The tempo is quite high, and the traditional arrangements are definitively there in a strong way. If you’re a fan of the genre, you will right at home from the start. The later half of the album takes down tempo a bit, and there are some tracks that don’t lean as heavily on the folk and focuses more on straight up (punk) rock. These songs are not bad per se, but the first half of the record comes out a bit stronger, but the variation in tempo is pretty welcome though. Perhaps the track-listing could have been mixed up ab it more to get more variations in the first half, but that’s a minor issue.
Lyrically we’re often taking a more historical story-telling approach, which is a common theme in the genre and fits well with the overall style of the music. New-ish frontman’s Mike Rivkess’ voice is really fitting here and I feel like he has brought new inspiration to the band since he joined on the Hestia album. Stand-out tracks for me on this one are Bounding Main, One for the Road and Across the Water, which showcases the breadth of the band’s talent.
This is an album that doesn’t do anything revolutionary for the genre, but hey, it’s a traditional genre and not much have to change. I’m just glad that we get some more energetic, well played, well arranged and well written traditional Irish punk rock. I know I’ll never get tired of it as long as it’s delivered as well as on here. I hope the band can continue in this direction, and also get out on the roads again to play for their audience, it feels like there could be some really nice live-shows coming from these guys.