Dance With Broken Bones – The Feelgood McLouds
The sound hasn’t changed much since then, although perhaps having become a bit more polished. In my ears The Feelgood McLouds sounds a bit like a mix of Flatfoot 56 with their more punkrock influenced sound, and fellow Germans The Porters who leans a bit more towards the folky sound, and brings the tempo down at times. The McLouds are moving somewhere in between these two on much of this album.
Lyrically often ending up on the more serious side of things, such as in We Salute, On Strike, Cold Old River, The Outcast Choir and Tomorrow. Mix that up with the more fun and positive Head Up, Back on the Streets and 100 Drinks (although that last one has some dark energy looming in the background) and there’s a good variation in themes throughout. The pro-union message in On Strike feels acute, especially considering that even in a traditionally very unionized country as Sweden, new companies have become more anti of workers organizing (Klarna, Tesla and Spotify being in the spotlight right now). We Salute makes me think of all the wars going on right now, but the song in itself brings a positive glow. Overall I feel that it’s pretty easy to get engaged with the lyrics on this one.
It feels like the band is more comfortable with slowing down the tempo a bit in more places now as compared to before musically. The folk-influences are infused in a nice and natural way in the punkrock sound. I might miss a bit of that raw energy that was being delivered on the previous record. Head Up has got some of that, but that also feels like a track that’s been recorded earlier than the others, being somewhat of a bridge between 2020’s Feelgoods and the present. Still there’s a nice variation in tempo, and on 101 Drinks the band are joined by fellow Germans The O’Reilly’s and the Paddyhats (I’ve now mentioned three German folk-punk bands in this review, the sub-genre seems to be strong in that country), in a nice mellow track.
I’m by no means disappointed with Dance With Broken Bones by The Feelgood McLouds, it shows a band that has grown up a bit, becoming more comfortable in their music and sound. At the same time that means that some raw energy has disappeared a bit, something that I miss at times. I’m not as instantly smitten as I was with Life on a Ferris Wheel, this is a little bit more of a grower for me. Well worth investing some time in though, especially for fans of the genre.