Songs of a rebellious nature will inevitably bear the "Marmite effect". Either you are a passionate believer or a fervent opponent. The Blarney Rebel Band will not appeal to everyone but, like a perfectly poured pint of Guinness, "Buy My Soul" improves with each listen and that's of great worth to anyone fond of Celtic music.
"Step It out Mary" is a fine song on which to launch the album while "Cobh Regatta Wheelbarrow Race" is an absurd but highly enjoyable tale about a trip to Ireland. Hearing is believing. "Stingy Jack", so true to Irish music, denounces the greed of men and "All of Ireland and Thee" will touch anyone with a splash of Irish blood in them.
Frontman Mark Sisti's compositions make up the bulk of the album, and you'd hardly be reprimanded for mistaking superb seafaring singalongs like "Stand with Me Boys" as one from the Planxty catalogue. A disappointing rendition of "Roddy MacCorley" is quickly forgotten once "Follow Me Up to Carlow/Morrison's Jig" is heard and "Hard Days Will Pass" is a pleasant, uplifting tune to finish off the album.
What is evident from the off is that The Blarney Rebel Band are a band who know and love Ireland for what it is and not for what it's not. Nor does the sublime musicianship do them any harm. This album is as much a compliment to themselves as it is to Ireland.
Available from CD Baby.