Nearly three decades after founding The Real McKenzies, Paul McKenzie has perfected the template for his band’s ideal record and thankfully never really deviated much from the formula.

Mixing bagpipes with distorted guitars, heavy-handed drumming, and plenty of love notes to booze, The Real McKenzies quickly ascended to status of Canada’s best Celtic punk rock band. And Beer And Loathing (a genuine shock that they haven’t used this as an album title yet), the band’s 11th full length studio effort is thankfully exactly what we’ve come to expect from the kilted rowdies from up north.

The album kicks off with the stirring instrumental “A Widow’s Watch” before bleeding into the mid-temp “Overtoun Bridge,” a real structure in Scotland where dogs inexplicable keep jumping to their deaths (per the chorus, “Rover went over the Overtoun Bridge”) .

The record quickly switches into faster territory with “Big Foot Steps,” followed by the title track. And, in case you’re concerned that tumultuous times across the globe have led The Real McKenizies to swerve into deep introspective songwriting territory, the song “Cock Up Your Beaver” should assuage all worries.   

With the country careening back into lockdown mode and bars turning into pandemic hot spots, The Real McKenzies offers the prefect excuse—and soundtrack—to stay at home with the lights off, the volume up high, and a bottle of bottle of Canadian Whiskey. Cheers!

Purchase this album.

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