Swedish rose tattoo

-- Sir Reg --

12/12/2018
Stijn Daneels

Album genres:
Celtic punk rock
Indie rock
Album artists:
Brendan Sheely Vocals, acoustic guitar
Chris Inoue Electric guitar
Mattias Söderland Bass
Mattias Liss Drums
Karin Ullvin Fiddle
Filip Burgman Mandolin

Review written by Glenn Van Bockstaele.

Sir Reg is a Celtic punk rock band formed in 2009 and consists of 5 Swedish musicians and an Irish singer. Despite the band’s Swedish origin, the band has a very Irish punk rock feel as proven here on their fifth album, released through Despotz Records. Pretty much all the songs on “The Underdogs” refer to Ireland, its culture, its beer (drinking), its famous people and of course it features typically Irish folk music instruments like banjo, flute and mandolin. Add to that singer Brendan’s thick Irish accent and you’ll be quick to forget that you’re technically listening to a Swedish band.

And things start off very strong with “The Underdogs” title track, a fast and catchy song inspired by such bands as Flogging Molly and the Dropkick Murphys. The second track, “Conor McGregor,” is a beautiful tribute to the famous MMA fighter from the same name with ground-and-pound drum beats. Then comes the album’s first anthem (a staple in Celtic punk music) in the form of “Giving It Up (The Drink).” Then comes the fourth track, “FOOL (Fight Of Our Lives)” and like the opening title track of “The Underdogs” this is another catchy and upbeat song that makes you want to sing, drink and dance, in no particular order! Then it’s on to “Cairbre,” an instrumental track inspired by medieval folk music with a galloping rhythm that starts off with flutes and banjos before electric guitars and drums are being added for the second, modern half of the track.

The sixth song, “Take Me To Your Dealer,” adds some bass heavy stoner rock elements without dominating the overall Celtic punk rock feel. The next track, “The Day That You Died,” is another upbeat Irish song despite the song’s overall melancholic theme. It’s more of a celebration of the narrator’s friend’s life rather than a mourning of his death. Up next is “The Stopover,” that functions as a short intermission featuring the band chanting and drumming a little while they’re waiting for a train to arrive. And then Sir Reg jumps on the Celtic punk bandwagon again for the tune “Stereotypical Feckin’Irish Song” and as the title suggests, it’s an homage to the typically Irish way of life. Drinking, guitar playing, drinking, friendship, drinking, enjoying life as a whole and some more drinking! Finally you get treated to one final bloody fast Celtic punk rock track by the name of “Don’t Let Go” before settling down with “Sinner Of The Century,” a peaceful acoustic ballad with violin, flute and female backing vocals. A good way to cool off after (another) night of heavy drinking and partying.

I admit that Celtic punk rock isn’t quite my thing, but in the case of Sir Reg’s new release, I enjoyed every single minute of its short 33-minute runtime. The entire album is a consistent ride of Celtic punk rock with a few exceptions of folk and ballad. The album’s concept is always inspiring theme of the underdog beating the seemingly insurmountable odds and Sir Reg is more than capable of bringing it all with passion and finesse. Yes, the country that brought you such bands as Amon Amarth, Sabaton, Ghost, Arch Enemy and Hammerfall is also able of bringing out badass Irish inspired punk rock. So grab yourself a Guinness beer or a Jameson whiskey and enjoy this FOOLishly good album. Here’s the music video for Fight Of Our Lives.