Holger Danske

The Old Firm Casuals

Pirates Press Records, 2019

http://theoldfirmcasuals.bandcamp.com

REVIEW BY: Tom Haugen

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED: 08/16/2019

Even though The Old Firm Casuals has some pretty serious punk rock pedigree to their credit, including Lars Frederiksen of Rancid and Casey Watson of Yaphet Kotto fame, on their sophomore album, the Bay Area stars put their metal and hard rock influences on full display, too.my_heart_sings_the_harmony_web_ad_alt_250

“Get Out Of Our Way” starts the LP with a dramatic and ominous setting of quick paced metal and punk fury with raspy vocals. “Motherland” follows with thick riffs in a charged atmosphere that takes nods to '80s rock with a side of street punk, too. Side A also contains the incendiary, full throttle punk 'n' roll of “Pendulum,” the meticulous guitar work of the instrumental “De Ensomme Ulve,” and, one of the record's best, the thundering and cautious title track where acoustic guitars meet a gritty, abrasive delivery.

Side B is also a blistering and rowdy affair, with the ultra-quick and anthemic “Traitor” as well as the aptly titled “Thunderbolt,” where an uncontainable energy unfolds with biting vocals. Later on, “Nation On Fire” finds the ensemble getting back to their punk rock roots on a fist-pumping tune with gang vocals and plenty of bouncy melody, while “Zombies” ends the listen on a visceral exit that would make Lemmy smile in his grave.

The Old Firm Casuals has no shortage of must-hear releases already, but this is their best, with a unique intensity where solos aren't out of the question. The deeply instilled punk rock heritage of the members combined with addition of a second guitarist make Holger Danske a shoe-in for one of the year's best. Truly a record where you'll want to tap your toe, dive headfirst into the pit, bang your head and play air guitar furiously, this slab of wax is a fine example of why punk rock doesn't get stale.

Rating: A

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