Thanks to Shutter16 for the amazing article by Daniel Gardner! Hope to see you guys in the US!
Hungarian Rockers Firkin Will Keep Your Glass Full And Your Heart Happy
Often when you think of the fusion of traditional Irish music and rock and roll there are some staples that come to mind; The Pogues, Flogging Molly and of course, The Dropkick Murphys. But, there are always plenty of European bands doing this beautiful mix who haven’t stormed the beaches of America yet. Hungarian rock band Firkin is a fine example. Wonderfully blending centuries-old Irish story telling with fast, upbeat, driving rock music.
From their first release Firkinful of Beer (2009) to last year’s Finger in the Pie (2014) they have maintained a proverbial toe in the Irish pond. They wonderfully mix violins, flutes, whistles and redpipes with electric guitar and thundering bass-lines to provide a landscape that shows you a thousand years’ traditional Irish storytelling. Their take on this genre is a little different from their contemporaries. Their music seems to be a little more orchestrated in a classical sense. That’s to say, it doesn’t come off as rock music with an Irish twist, but, Irish music with undertones of American rock and metal.
Notes on Firkinful of Beer:
With the rolling mix of electric guitar and cyclical tom hits, the opener “The British Army” spearheads their debut album in the right direction. It soon swells with violins and world-music whistles that are coupled with seething lyricism that maintain the traditional AABB “question and answer” lyric structure of Irish folk music. The record is an amalgamation of undulating originals, from the fast, violin-laden “Bitchin’ in the Kitchen” to notable traditionals like “Fields of Athenry;” this record is the closest thing you’ll find to being in the vein of their peers.
Notes on Finger in the Pie:
At the time of the release of this album five years had passed since their debut, and it’s not lost on the listener. With this record you can hear a band breaking away from the normal template of electrified Celtic music and really coming into a realm all their own. The second track “If I Could be the Pope” keeps with their utilization of quasi-political lyricism while keeping with the tumescent use of strings and pipes. Finger in the Pie is noted by more power-chord heavy guitar than other releases. The influence of metal really shines through on this record, while quieter traditionals are not lost in the fray. At times it is beer-soaked brotherhood, while at others it is nothing short of quiet introspection. Keeping with the energy of this genre I can only imagine this band producing the most frenetic and energetic live shows.
With plenty of European tour dates I can only hope these guys decide to come to the United States soon.