Long-running Montreal-based Celtic punk collective The Peelers are releasing their fourth album on March 12, via Stomp Records. The 10-song Down and Out in the City of Saints is imbued with an undeniable and ferocious sense of spirit, feeling, and power.
On the intense feel of the record, frontman and songwriter Dave Barton says: “We wanted to capture our live sound as much as possible, because the nature of our brand of music is high energy, anthemic, and made to be experienced in person, and we hope the album conveys that.”
Barton also explains that there has been progression since The Peelers’ inception in 1999.
“This new one feels right, and in my opinion, it’s our best work. We’ve also incorporated a lot more influence into our sound and moved away from the more traditional feel towards something we’re a little more comfortable with. The Celtic influence and the whole Irish experience in North America are always present, but you’ll also hear some Clash, Rancid, Tom Waits, and others.”
Of the 10-song batch, Barton mentions that six of the songs had previously been in their setlist.
“You learn what works and what doesn’t,” he says of this method. “And then the actual recording of the tracks is smooth and organic.”
Two tracks, “Glad to See the Back of You,” and the anthemic closer “From Here to Halifax,” are actually “reworkings of ideas we had demoed back in 2004, believe it or not,” Barton confides.
“It’s really interesting to see the progression.” He explains that he tends to come up with ideas and then keep them on the backburner and “revisit them occasionally.”
The guys started recording in December 2019 and then played out in Western Canada in March 2020, after which everything was halted because of COVID-19. They later resumed recording and finished up in mid-June. So, Barton says, the record has been ready to go for a while. The label thought it best to hold off on releasing it, though, in order to, as Barton relates, “see how the pandemic played out, and to release the album around Paddy’s Day 2021. So, we’ve been waiting patiently to get this out there, because we’re super proud of the art.”
And along the same lines as the uncertainty of the times that’s bled over into this new year, Barton says The Peelers have some dates booked for May, but it’s still up in the air if they’ll come to pass. The guys definitely miss playing out.
“We love playing live,” Barton says. “We love the camaraderie of being on the road and meeting new people, seeing the world, old friends, playing with great bands, and that’s all been put on hold. It’s been a tough hurdle, mentally.”
In the meantime, they are recording two videos and they hope to be able to get on the road at some point. One positive that came out of not being able to get out like normal is that Barton is almost finished writing their next record, and expects to record the new songs later this year.
Pick up a copy here.