By Stefan Nilsson, Roppongi Rocks
Celtic rock from Sweden? Yes. And it works. Sir Reg is back with a feckin’ good album.
The Celtic-sounding rock band Sir Reg is actually from Sweden. However, the band’s frontman Brendan Sheehy is Irish, which helps to explain why this sounds so good and authentic. “The Underdogs”, the band’s fifth studio album since forming in Sweden in 2009, is a solid album which kicks off in style with the title track and is followed by “Conor McGregor”, two of the album’s best songs, both of them bursting with energy. Strong melodies, fine musicianship and smart lyrics are at the centre of this album. Sheehy’s voice is exactly what you’d expect from a decent Celtic rock band and the Swedish musicians backing him are first class. They include Mattias Söderlund, formerly of Swedish cult punk band Charta 77.
Sir Reg is a modern, faster, better and more alert version of The Pogues and The Dubliners. Sir Reg has the same foundation, but the end result is more high-energy rock. They don’t sound dated at all. They are also musically more advanced and thus can really marry the Irish folk music of yesteryear with modern rock. This is a band full of energy, musical talent and punk attitude. They also have some seriously great songs. “Sinner of the Century” is a beautiful song which is one of my favourites. It is more The Waterboys than The Dubliners. “Stereotypical Drunken Feckin’ Irish Song”, however, is a comical take on The Dubliners and Irish stereotypes (it includes the line “Stick a shamrock up your arse”). While there is some obvious melancholy in some of the lyrical themes on this album, overall this is feel-good music. It makes me want to dance on a table in an Irish pub with a pint in my hand.
Sir Reg’s album “The Underdogs” is out on 21st September via Despotz Records.