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Clash of the Tartans

The Real McKenzies

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Album Review

Going back 23 years, Vancouver underground bands have always had a funnier sense of humor, and a penchant for making fun of themselves (while making really hot music) than any other scene. It's good to see the tradition, which goes back to the screw-off side-bands like Rude Norton and Sgt. Nick Penis Band, is extended via this amusing sextet (D.O.A.'s Joey Keithley's latest find for his Sudden Death label). The title of the Real McKenzies' second LP is apt: the group wears kilts and tam-o'-shanters on-stage (ladies, here's some leg action for you). Further, their records alternate between zippy, high-adrenaline, tight rock & roll punk such as "Stone of Kings," "Pagan Holiday," and "Celion" ("will ye ceilidh with me," ha ha), to a modernization of traditional Scottish folk as on "Mainland" — and a rough mid-point with gruff singing such as "King O' Glasgow" (pronounced "Glass-gee," of course!). Sure there's bagpipes and an accordion. What did you think? There's always room for a good band that doesn't take itself too seriously and has a good gimmick. Lots o' fun, for lads and lasses.


Formed: 1992 in Vancouver, British Columbia, Cana

Genre: Alternative

Years Active: '90s, '00s

The Real McKenzies have been bringing out their hybrid of aggressive punk and traditional Scottish folk songs since their formation in 1992. After several lineup changes, this Vancouver-based sextet eventually settled with Paul McKenzie (vocals), the Bone (guitar/vocals), Kurt "Dirty" Robertson (guitar), Matt MacNasty (bagpipes), Brad Attitude (drums), and Jamie Fawkes (bass). By 1995, IFA Records released the band's first full-length, appropriately titled Scotland. After the band spent four years...
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Clash of the Tartans, The Real McKenzies
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