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Askew Review 15

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- 10,000 Shots (Fat Wreck) You can add The Real McKenzies to the short list of worthwhile things Canada has contributed to the world:  red bliss potatoes, Second City Television, Shadowy Men From A Shadowy Planet, and now The Real McKenzies.  Seriously, this is a really good record.  Of course, when they start off with a song by the greatest songwriter in the history of the world (Robert Burns, in case you don't know), it's hard to go wrong.  The Real McKenzies do for Scotland what The Pogues (and more recently The Gobshites) did for Ireland - combining traditional music with punk rock in a way that does justice to both.  Plus, they do it in kilts.  You've got to be pretty damn cool to get away with wearing a skirt when you've got legs as hairy as these guys.  Besides the opening "Smokin' Bowl", they also do another song by the venerable Mr. Burns, "Comin' Through The Rye", as well as 4 other traditional Scottish tunes, all with a whiskey (Scotch, I'm sure)! soaked punk attack.  And the seven originals all hold up nicely alongside the classics.  I'm especially fond of "Pour Decisions" and "I Hate My Band", both of which appear to be autobiographical snapshots of what it's like to be a 50-something Scottish-Canadian punk rocker in the 21st century.  For my money, this is as good as anything Fat Wreck has ever released, and ranks among the top discs of the year.  Oh, did I mention the bagpipes?  There's bagpipes.  I like that. - Brian Mosher



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