TonyDoug's CD Reviews: Nemo, The Pubcrawlers
by tonydoug wright
Nemo, Signs of Life (Binge Records, 2004)
The Band: Luke McCartney and Dennis Tyhacz
The History: Nemo, taking their name from 20,000 Leagues Under The Sea, is a Brooklyn band and Signs of Life is their debut on Binge Records.
The Review: My co-workers know that I review CDs for Erasing Clouds and sometimes I subject them to a variety of interesting (and sometimes horrific) bands. There are times when they will take a band name and come up with a new one that is not very flattering. For instance, Nemo has been renamed Finding Nemo by my co-workers and they say things like "Are we still listening to Finding Nemo?" or "Finding Nemo is better than this crap." The only thing I can tell the members of Nemo is I think my co-workers might like your music because they have not added words like "sucks" or "blows" to your name.
This is good for Nemo because Signs of Life is a fairly enjoyable seventeen-track release of 60s and 80s inspired music with lyrics that are more like poetry than clichéd rock lyrics. There are four particularly excellent tracks on Signs of Life: "Swimming In The Rhine" (a very catchy and bluesy number), "Signs of Life" (an 80s throwback tune somewhat reminiscent of The Cure), "The Sun of Ulee" (a Beatles-influenced acoustic song) and "The Burn" (a two-minute rocker with plenty of "la-la's"). The only downside to Nemo's Signs of Life is that there are a few forgettable tracks that fail to stand out. But Nemo has something good with Signs of Life, and hopefully we will hear more from this Brooklyn band.
The Pubcrawlers, Another Night on the Floor (self-released, 2005)
The Band: Andy (Guitars), Chad (Guitars and Backing Vocals), Kevin (Vocals, Mandolin and Acoustic Guitars), The Rabbi (Accordion and Tin Whistle), Seth (Banjo, Tin Whistle and Guitars) and Tony (Bass and Backing Vocals)
The History: The Pubcrawlers claim Portland, Maine and Dover, New Hampshire as their homes. Another Night On The Floor is the debut release from The Pubcrawlers.
The Review: It was a quiet March day when The Rabbi, a member of The Pubcrawlers, e-mailed me about his band and told me to check out their website. How could I resist a request from a guy in a New England Celtic Punk band named The Rabbi? I checked out their website, downloaded two tracks and then e-mailed The Rabbi to send me a CD for review.
After e-mailing The Rabbi I had flashbacks to a Jimmy Buffett concert I attended in the Columbus, OH area circa 1993. You might be thinking to yourself: "What does a Jimmy Buffett concert have to do with a New England Celtic punk band?" Well, it was an all-day Jimmy Buffett festival and I was there with my younger sister and my uncle, who was in this "I'm going to be responsible" phase where he would not buy beer for my sister or myself. Anyway, we were awash in a sea of hillbillies and yuppie Parrotheads who were fueled by $7.00 margaritas and Carona's and we were hoping for an opening band to come out and tame the drunken masses. One of the opening bands, and I kid you not, was this group that blended Zulu music with Celtic music. I cannot remember what the name of the band was but I do remember them being extraordinarily craptacular.
Fortunately, The Pubcrawlers successfully blended Celtic music with Punk for their debut release titled Another Night On The Floor. Fans of The Pogues will enjoy the gritty pirate-esque vocals and excellent musicianship. Plus they should like songs such as "Boston Subway", "All For Me Grog", "The Last Saskatchewan Pirate" (an Arrogant Worms cover) and "Shot Glass." Another Night On The Floor should be placed in the CD jukebox at your local pub. If the owner does not want the CD then tell him or her that The Pubcrawlers will stop by their establishment so that they can piss all over their bar. Please note that I do not know The Pubcrawlers, but after listening to Another Night On The Floor I have a feeling that these New Englanders like to rock and party.