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Heavy Blarney - Album Review - Bog to Swamp

08 May 2018 // A review by Matt Mutinous

Released - 18th May 2018

When I first saw the title Bog to Swamp my imagination could only assume what kind of music was to follow. The second album from Palmerston North Celtic rockers, Heavy Blarney had grabbed my attention from the get-go and I was keen to find out just how this band sounded with such a unique blend of music styles, rarely attempted these days.

Fittingly kicked off with a choir of fiddles and whistles the first track Mori-kesh Express surrounds the listener with a misty haze of folk tune, transporting us across the world to the rolling hills of Ireland. Married together with a classic rock beat and some distortion guitar, quickly we are able to hear that these guys have spared no thoughts in merging such diversely opposite genres together, giving off an authentic sound that is well executed.

Modernized with hard rock and even pop licks, Heavy Blarney is able to breathe new life into something that is slowly being forgotten about. The idea behind this album is reflected clearly from track to track, rocking electric guitar solos placed over Banjos and accordions provides plenty of energy bursting out of the speakers, sure to get you up out of your seat. I can only imagine how awesome it would be inside a pub atmosphere.

Clever but fun. Quirky but not cute, these songs are well played and produced, with just the right amount of flavour added as not to deviate from the overall theme of the band, clearly a bunch of rowdy, rocking, Celtics. Being of Irish decent I was able to resonate with the music immediately, and I have no doubt the same could be said for anyone who enjoys a pint of Guinness at the pub on St Patty's day.

After reading through a few of the lyrics, I noticed that some of them were original and that, the traditional ones had been cleverly rewritten. Tying in some of our own New Zealand history and stories to further personalize the record, while showing a rather political stance. An Irish trait I was well familiar with.

Overall, I really enjoyed this record, with its great atmosphere and use of instrumentation it was slightly different to the Irish music I was used to. Truly original, but not, with a fresh Kiwiana spin it made for a unique experience. Front-man Bing Turkby has pulled together something great and I highly recommend giving this one a spin, even if you don't think you'll be into it, trust me by the end you'll love it! 

★★★★★ (5 stars)

Review written by Matt Mutinous


About Heavy Blarney

The Heavy Blarney band plays high-energy Celtic rock music, mixing traditional tunes with original compositions which reflect the meeting of cultures in Aotearoa New Zealand.

Visit the muzic.net.nz Profile for Heavy Blarney


From Bog To Swamp
Year: 2018
Type: Album
Heavy Blarney
Year: 2010
Type: Album

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