E.P. Review: The Ramshackle Army - High Flyer
Reviewed by Dan Barnes
It’s been a full ten years since the release of the debut E.P., Life Lessons and Drunk Sessions, and the intervening decade has not found Melbourne-based The Ramshackle Army to have mellowed with age. Rather, those years have been spent honing their Celtic craft alongside such genre luminaries as The Mahones and The Tossers and sharing stages with the mighty Dropkick Murphys.
Highflyers is the band’s latest E.P. and features five songs of aggressive, up tempo punk rock. From the word Go you are greeted with instantly danceable rhythms and some catchy riffs. The two early songs have something of a pop-punk feel to them, with both Bend Don’t Break and the title track infusing their use of fiddle, mandolin and banjo with an infectious accessibility.
Recent single Rise and Fall ups the ante and piles straight into a full-bloodied, chest-beating anthem of positivity, all based around a mighty guitar chug. Both The Also Rans and Old Weapons delve deeper into the Celtic sound, with the former adding more urgency to the music, making it more edgy through prominent drums.
Old Weapons is perhaps the closest The Ramshackle Army come to aping the Dropkicks, but more in homage than anything else. The rough vocal lines could almost be delivered by Al and Ken and it gives Highflyers an even more memorable send off.
At just fifteen minutes in length, this E.P. is ruthlessly efficient in delivering a direct hit of The Ramshackle Army’s Gaelic punk position.
If you’re a fan of the aforementioned bands, or Flogging Molly, The Real Mackenzies, et al, then pour a pint of Guinness and pop on your dancing shoes - for the craic just got serious.