4 July 2010

The Real McKenzies: Shine Not Burn

The Real McKenzies
Shine Not Burn
(Fat Wreck Chords)

A live album from the merrymaking Celtic punk rockers

The Real McKenzies are as well known for the industrious stretches of extensive touring than they are for the healthy punk rock infusion they’ve been jabbing into the arm of traditional Scottish music since 1992. The result of that perennial spadework has earned them the flourishing worldwide fan-base that now surrounds them.  The energy, a substantial juggernaut when witnessed in it’s live state,  has been the heart and soul powering them unfalteringly for almost 19 years.  This album, taken from their intimate acoustic performances at Wild At Heart in Berlin last year is a unique, toned down collection of their greatest songs hushed to delicate volumes you’d never have considered until now and that’s what makes this such a unique album.  The bare bones of music stripped right back to it’s starkest point is, in this instance, pretty glorious.  Bagpipes, penny whistles, that acoustic instrumentation and the passion Paul McKenzies lead vocal has always been blessed with have come together quite nicely to make a great record.  Every song you like about them most is here ( Drink The Way I Do, Droppin Like Flies, Scots Wha’ Ha’e, Whisky Scotch Whiskey, Nessie) and everything else in-between. It may not be The Real McKenzies you’re used to but it’s still a commendable contribution.