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Album Review

On Agony, the Tossers make it clear that they don't have any intention of departing from their tried-and-true formula anytime soon: by now they've probably resigned themselves to the obvious comparisons (the Pogues, Flogging Molly) and decided that there's nothing wrong with being derivative as long as you're very bloody good. And they're right. If you love punk-edged rock & reel, then you'll find plenty to love on Agony, and on every other Tossers effort as well. Highlights on this one include the quiet but fierce ballad "Not Forgotten," the brilliantly rollicking "Pub and Culture," and the thrashing "Did It All for You." The modal instrumental medley "Sheep in the Boots" is also a treat, as is the Gypsy shout-out "Romany." On the less exciting end of the spectrum are a peevish kiss-off song titled "Traps and Ultimatums" and the grim and raw (but ultimately boring) "Not Alone." Tony Duggins is still not much of a singer, but that doesn't really matter; in fact, his only vaguely melodic growl fits the material perfectly. Recommended overall.


Formed: 1993 in Chicago, IL

Genre: Alternative

Years Active: '00s

The Tossers formed on Chicago's South Side in the early '90s, predating such popular Irish punk bands as the Dropkick Murphys and Flogging Molly. Comprising members Mike Pawula (guitar), T. Duggins (vocals, mandolin), Aaron Duggins (tin whistle), Dan Shaw (bass), Bones (drums), Rebecca Manthe (violin), and Clayton Hansen (banjo), the seven-piece band blends Celtic rock, punk, pub singalongs, traditional folk, and a tangible love of beer. The Tossers released four albums -- We'll Never Be Sober Again...
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Agony, The Tossers
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