…I mean, holy crap – how supercharged can Celtic music be? Jesus Christ… Livewire was probably the first Celtic album I put on after New Year, and it was some launch for 2021, believe me!
So okay, you can expect good things from a band consisting of super players (drummer Greg Barry, also of Elephant Sessions, is one of my big faves in any genre) but still… They’ve been very much a gigs entity and me, here in Finland, have never seen them live – dammit. With one good album (from a already a few years ago, though) and a few great singles as their entire discography so far, I didn’t know quite what to expect now.
To put it very simply: Livewire is an absolute blast, from start to finish. Fiddle, bouzouki, keys, drums and that’s a party right there, with just a couple of calmer moments in the middle of the fireworks. The tunes themselves are – most of them anyway – solid Celtic folk, but the band plays them in this stunning funk-disco-pop-godknowswhatelse style that has no specific genre.
And the playing is so gooood: the band is so together and tight it would explode if they turned the screw one millimeter more. I don’t know if the strangest of years with no live gigging has anything to do with it but the album sounds like they’re playing as if their lives depended on it – all joyful and fierce at once. Hearts pound, blood flows, sweat sprays all over, and still everything comes together perfectly. It’s like Earth Wind & Fire in their prime mystically transformed into an instrumental neo-Celtic band. And I mean it.
Any personal faves? Ahhmm… Well, the opening Repeal The Union (read whatever politics you want into that) really wakes you up; Flashback is an absurd but great mashup of 1980’s American pop and Celtic (yup); the gentle Väsen probably says hi to the great Swedish folk-jazz band; Earthbound finds a nice semi-African beat in the middle of the tune.
But what the hell, it’s all super. And supercharged. And probably works great as mood medication in these days. It’s as good as it gets. Seriously. Now. Go!!!
Do yourself a favor and grab Livewire from the band’s Bandcamp site: https://meclir.bandcamp.com/album/livewire