Comfortable and Furious

THE REAL MCKENZIES – 10 000 SHOTS

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I’m not sure why I’m reviewing this but I’ll start by saying that Paul McKenzie is a serious
drunk. No, I mean a fucking serious
drunk. I first noticed the severity of his alcoholism when browsing through
band photos from their 2003 album, Oot
& Aboot
. I shit you not I’ve seen emaciated, stroke-racked grandfathers (my
own, come to think of it) that look healthier than Paul. In fact, the whole band looks tore
up enough to challenge even members of our own Ruthless Forum in terms of outright
befuddling ugliness, and my do we have a motley rabble of trolls,
wenches, and wildebeests running around that cyber circle-jerk. The scum of the
earth flock to Ruthless and we would have it no other way. We could, however,
use a few more wenches because the few we entertain are either inexcusably
banal, married, or single moms, none of which make for interesting
conversation.

For those who don’t know, The Real McKenzies are from Vancouver, BC,
otherwise known as Canada,
otherwise known as an irrelevant expanse of largely uninhabitable land,
although a special case can be made for Vancouver
I suppose. Formed in 1992, TRM play a brand of punk rock true to their Scottish
roots, adding contemporary hooks to traditional folk tunes with bagpipes to
boot. Sure it’s not the most original shit in the world, but if you can imagine the
Sex Pistols entangled in an orgy with AC/DC while Robbie Burns rubs one out in
the corner, that would be The Real
McKenzies– drunken, raucous, and drunken. Oh, and fuuuucking ugly.

10,000 Shots is
TRM’s fourth, and by far their best and most boozeworthy record. Come to think
of it, this album takes a steaming, peat flavored bog-shit on their previous
efforts, especially Oot & Aboot,
which remains a silly rock n’ roll album with a really kickass bagpipe solo.
But fear not, 10,000 Shots features
plenty of bagpiping, shouting, and wha’haeing piled over catchy punk jams that will
have you blootered and birlin’ in no time. Several of the tracks are Robbie
Burns covers, naturally, but there are also a few original songs worth
mentioning, my favorite being Pour
Decisions
, a feel-good tune about Paul McKenzie being a pessimistic
53-year-old punk rocker that refuses to conform, i.e. stop drinking. His
vocals are great as usual, delivered in his husky signature brogue, and hell, for
a red-nosed geriatric drunk, the guy can still sing a decent tune.

Most of TRM’s earlier material is hit or miss; I’ve never
really been a big fan as each album had only a of couple of standout tacks, Mainland and Loch Lomond being timeless
classics. 10,000 Shots, on the other
hand, is fun and folky the whole way through with little to complain about. Generally
speaking, if you’re a fan of Dropkick
or Flogging Molly, you’ll dig The
Real McKenzies. These guys also put on a rowdy live show that’s worth seeing if
they happen to roll through whatever dank, roach-infested hovel you live in.
Something tells me they don’t have too many more albums in them as Paul’s liver
will no doubt devour itself in coming years, so catch them if you can.
Otherwise, crack open a bottle of Cragganmore and get shitty. You should be
doing this anyway, worm.


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