Celtic MP3's Music Magazine
Review of Wolves in the Walls
This Seattle-based Celtic band continues to blow me away with its talent. They really are something, and if you haven’t heard them, there is no time like the present to introduce yourself to one of the most talented groups out there these days.
Very hard to pin down into just one particular style, there are a host of musical influences going on here–but they are simmered together for a great blend, rather than added willy-nilly in some attempt to be cool or different. This works. Punk, gypsy, rock, bluegrass and more mix with Celtic underpinnings to delight and amaze the listener.
Favorite tracks here include “Cold Whiskey Jane”, “Musetta’s Waltz” and “Bad Habits”, but there’s plenty to like throughout. (Note: “Bad Habits” is explicit.) I love the way this band can bounce around drawing from different musical styles without losing their own sound. They have a style that serves as a sort of “backbone” for the group, and then anything they add on is simply a new flavor or spice–not a whole new dish.
Ockham’s Razor is one of those bands that is popular for a reason. They have a broad appeal and a super energy. Any time I see one of their CDs on my review lineup, I know that I won’t be disappointed. Chances are good that if you like one of the albums, you’ll enjoy them all.
I know that I do.
Fear da Celt.com
Review of Wolves in the Walls
Take a blend of modern music, mix in some celtic influence, a dash of gypsy and even a hint of punk and you have the Seattle based band Ockham’s Razor.
Headed by front man Kriostoir Clements, the band focuses mostly on traditional celtic songs. This is a step away from bands like The Tossers, The Dropkick Murphys or Flogging Molly, who’s music leans more on the punk side of the spectrum.
The band’s latest endeavor, “Wolves in the Walls” is 15 tracks and was recorded, engineered, and mixed by Don Gunn. The cover imitates a leather bound, gold inlay book, and the album is broken into parts instead of the typical track numbers.
The first song that leaps off the album and truly encompasses the listeners ears is Hi Ri Him Bo.
The soft airy vocals of Kriostoir Clements transported me to a mountain setting deep in Ireland. The song opens a-cappella, Clement is singing in Gaelic and the imagery is what one would expect from an epic Peter Jackson movie.
I was so drawn by this song that I had to know what it meant. Come to find out it is a traditional Gaelic song about deer hunting.
“And the hunter in their pursuit, with his slender barreled gun and gaunt deer hounds.”
Mixing with Clement’s vocals is the instrumental performance of the rest of the band. Again, this was outstanding.
With just a couple of tracks drifting away from the flow of the album, Wolves in the Wall is a great album to listen to.
The song Bad Habits, which is performed in a very fuguish style, is a real drop from the traditional setting of the album. Still it is an interesting song and deserves to be played.
What I liked most about the album is how well the band performs. Granted they are in the studio and have a chance to get it right, however; there is something about it that indicates this group plays well together.
I also really enjoy the infusion of modernism on traditional songs, the song Lord Randall is a great example of it.
So if you like tin whistles, banjos, guitars, great vocals and and overall great updating of traditional songs, give Wolves in the Walls a listen. Ockham’s Razor is celtic music with a dash of modernism.
Their cd can be purchased through their website www.seattlesrazors.com and at their shows, I am sure. They can also be found at Amazon.com
Celtic Music Radio Website - Glasgow, Scotland
The Celtic Music Radio Album of the Week is covetted by the bands and performers who received the award. Such artists have included: Dave Gibb, Alan Reid & Rob van Sante, Andi Neate, The Paul McKenna Band, The Sands Family, John Malcolm, Craig Jeffrey, Aly Bain & Phil Cunningham, Nick Keir and Ockham’s Razor.
Ockham's Razor has definite crossover appeal
Ear Candy - Seattle Music & Arts
April 19, 2009 by Steven Friederich
I caught this amazing Irish band called Ockham's Razor in Ocean Shores on Saturday -- (not your typical hot bed of music acivity, I know). Ockham's Razor has this Flogging Molly vibe with some definite crossover appeal.
The Seattle band notes on its Web site, that they were formed in the spring of 2006 "and began introducing audiences in the Pacific Northwest to their exciting, youthful style of Irish and Folk music in June at the Fremont Summer Solstice Festival. … After working with Grammy nominated producer Conrad Uno (Presidents of the United States of America, Mudhoney, Posies) on their debut CD, Ockham's Razor began performing shows throughout the Pacific Northwest, San Francisco Bay area and Portland."
They have a few albums now but their most recent is "Ten Thousand Miles to Bedlam," with this amazing cross-over almost-rock anthem "The Road to Bedlam" that could easily be on any radio station in America, but probably won't. Looks like the band is experiencing some growing pains (I saw them minus a drummer) and they've had some line-up changes. But the CD is definitely worth listening to and what's left of the band performs a dynamite show.
Besides the typical Irish music you'd expect from a band like them ("Danny Boy" anybody?) , they do covers of songs by the Ramones, the Dead and a very weird cover of Nine Inch Nail's Closer. Lead singer Kris Clements warned the audience about its lyrics "I want to F*** You like an Animal" ahead of time but you could tell he didn't feel comfortable with that ine after.
More photos on my Web site www.stevenfriederich.com.
Ten Thousand Miles to Bedlam album review
Ockham’s razor: the principle that “entities should not be multiplied unnecessarily” or, popularly applied, “when you have two competing theories that make exactly the same predictions, the simpler one is the better.” - via Wikipedia.
Ockham’s Razor: An exciting Irish/Folk band out of Seattle, Washington with a ridiculously cool name. I confess, this group won me over right from the start with their name, and my infatuation only increased with the title of this album, Ten Thousand Miles To Bedlam. Featuring a mixture of instrumental arrangements, punked up and jazzed up trad tunes, and the odd original song, this is a CD that I was thrilled to have in my review docket.
The first song on the album is an instrumental called Gravel Walk. It’s a great tune that showcases the band’s considerable talent and gives an enticing taste of the songs to follow on the rest of the CD. I particularly like the guitar intro, and the fiddling is as impressive here as it continues to be throughout.
Whiskey and Pills. Otherwise known as, Can Of Worms. Musically, I adore this song. It’s Celtic punk rock at it’s best and most excessive, as demonstrated by the lyrics - Filled to the gills with whiskey and pills, and we’ll have another bottle in the morning. It’s cleverly written and without doubt it’s a lighthearted and fun sounding song in the best tradition of The Pogues and other old school hard drinking, hard partying punk bands. It’s also troubling to me and hits closely to my heart because both Mike and I have lost people in our lives due to those very things. In Mike’s case, his 16 year old cousin, who was always smiling, and in mine, a 22 year old friend who had a crazy tattoo and gave the best, most comforting hugs ever. Alcohol and prescription drugs ruin and end the lives of a lot of young people and even though it might make me look like a humorless scold, I can’t let this track go by without that criticism.*
The title track, Ten Thousand Miles To Bedlam, is my favorite song on the album. There is nothing about this song that I don’t like. Lyrically, it’s both beautiful and menacing, a titillating combination. The vocals are the best on the CD in my opinion, simply outstanding. I even love the spoken word bits, which is an element that often annoys me, but here it works. The fiddling is fast and hot, and the driving percussion ties everything together.
Dream Angus is a nice closing piece for the album. Unfortunately I think it would have been more effective as a three minute song rather than a six minute one, it went on a bit long for me. That said, I love the vocal harmony, the simple piano in the background, and the whistle interludes. This is a trad song that I don’t hear much of, and I appreciate it’s inclusion here.
Ten Thousand Miles To Bedlam is a notable album that I’m glad to have experienced and Ockham’s Razor is a band that I will be keeping my eye on. Check them out at their website and their myspace page.
*I’m sure that the band does not support or suggest drinking and popping pills, I don’t think that for a second. I’m pretty sure that the song is more of an homage to the punk rock lifestyle than anything else, and I fully support their right to sing about whatever they want. I just have to put my two cents in, because that’s what I do.
University of Washington Ledger - Matthew Cobb (Read the entire article here)
"Thanks to the bands rousing performances over the last month, the Irish spirit of Doyle's Public House is livelier than ever."
"Ockham's Razor has earned the establishment's respect by consistently wowing audiences with their refreshing sound, including traditional songs of the Celtic culture."
America & Rocky Schaaf - PAWS Benefit (Seattle, WA)
"Ockham's Razor is a group of young and talented musicians with an Irish rock sound, interwoven with haunting notes and energetic rhythms. They interpret traditional folk tunes in a progressive and stimulating way that leaves the audience listening. Their generous nature is part of the experience; the audience feels like part of the band."
Nick Huges - Chairman of the Yakima Folklife Festival
Ockham's Razor. A high energy group with a modern Celtic influence in their style that is fun to listen to and fun to watch. Comments to me from festival-goers included, "Turbo-Celtic" and "Ethno-Punk". Whatever your terms of endearment, they were a great new group and bear watching as they move toward a bright future.
Entertainment Director for the Tacoma Highland Games and internationally known Celtic musician
Ockham's Razor performed at our Tacoma Highland Games in June, '07 and the response was one of the best ever. They were DEFINITELY a great addition to our entertainment lineup and will be asked back again, if I have anything to say about it. You guys kicked it!
Celtic MP3's.com Review - Karen J. Brady
"Mixing traditional Celtic music with their own brand of energy, the band has been hailed for bringing "kind of a Gaelic-Celtic flavor with an interesting pop sensibility" to the Celtic music world. In fact, they are known for adding a youthful twist to traditional Celtic songs."
Fremont Solstice Festival
"Ockham's Razor is a Celtic fusion band, specializing in traditional and original material, presented in a new and often surprising way."
"...they are bringing new ideas into traditional Celtic music without compromising the original intent of the songs."
seattle (sound) magazine - Bill White
"It's Friday night, and nearly everyone in the Irish Emigrant has a beer in hand. Ockham's Razor, a four piece Celtic rock band, is finishing up its set with a Pouge-ish version of "drunken Sailor" that has the rowdy crowd clapping with the beat and singing along."
Blackthorn Irish Pub (San Francisco, CA) - Vernon - Events Manager
"Ockham’s razor put on one great show! They were highly recommended by one of our best bands, Culann’s Hounds. Once the Hounds proclaimed that Ockham’s razor was great I knew they would fit perfectly in The Blackthorn. I invite Ockham’s razor back any time they would like to grace our stage. A big thank you to Ockham’s Razor and the Culann’s Hounds!!"
Weekly Volcano - Tony Engelhart (Read the entire article here)
"A crossbreed of the traditionalism of the Chieftains and the hard stomp of the Pogues, Seattle's own Ockham's Razor take the Gaelic-Celtic genre into the 21st century with a keen sense of the past coupled with a progressive attitude that is entirely fresh."