Within 15 seconds of listening to this CD I thought “Oh no, not another Irish folk punk band.” Then I heard the singer and remembered something about a band made up of 3 members of Swingin Utters, including their lead singer, Johnny Bonnel. Well, this must be the band I read about on Punkmusic. So, what makes this CD different than the Utters?
Not much really, except for the fact that by the 5th song, “Wasting,” a strong country twang takes over The annoying twang is over with the end of that song, and by the 7th track “After Thoughts,” a little electric guitar is thrown in to make things a little interesting. , which is particularly annoying when you start hearing “Yea haw” yelled in the background. I’m not saying that the music sucks just because it’s primarily acoustic; quite the contrary.
Surprisingly enough, the album is easy to listen to. Before I even noticed anything, I was already on song 8. The saving grace of the Filthy Thieving Bastards is a combination of amazing songwriting, talented musicianship, and above all Johnny’s voice, which one of the coolest punk rock voices out there today. Too bad it’s going to waste singing this style. What’s up with them being so stuck on the Irish sound? If I’m not mistaken, the last release by the Utters had more than it’s fair share of folk punk stuff, as did the previous spilt CD w/Youth Brigade.
Looking past it as best I can, I admit the CD is a songwriting masterpiece, like most of the material released by the Utters. I just wish they’d put out some rock music. So, why did ó of the band record a CD under a different name? Because Max is living in NYC? Or maybe the Utters will be recording harder material in the future, and using this project as an outlet for the mellow stuff? Who knows.