Origin: Vancouver, British Columbia
THE REAL McKENZIES are not just a band. They are an unstoppable touring machine. A road-hardened crew of traveling minstrels, entertainers and vagabonds on a never-ending quest for good times.
For the past 20 years, this ferocious gang of miscreants has been captivating audiences around the globe with their addictive, uncompromising and undeniably heartfelt music. Featuring a diverse and insanely talented roster of musicians, The Real McKenzies draw on both acoustic and electric instruments to blend a potent concoction of classic punk, rock n’ roll, hard folk and traditional Celtic influence. Anthemic guitars and soaring bagpipes play off each other as Paul McKenzie spins yarns of times long past and regales with tales of endless drunken revelries. Blistering punk rock boot stompers stand alongside passionate singalong ballads while good times and joyous camaraderie are all the order of the day.
Fueled by an insatiable need to share the McKenzies’ gospel with the world, the boys are equally at home playing to 20,000 screaming football fans in the heart of Germany as they are to a few hundred punks in the dirtiest, darkest, most disreputable clubs of the Canadian wilderness. After more than two decades, 8 full-length albums, countless compilation appearances and singles, The Real McKenzies have earned a reputation that is second to none. They’ve shared the stage with Rancid, NOFX, Flogging Molly, The Misfits, Pennywise, Shane McGowan and Metallica just to name a few, all the while garnering new friends and fans along the way.
And now they’re back with their first studio album in 4 years. Westwinds is packed to the brim with roaring, rollicking and epic tales that shanghai the listener on a thirteen song, sea-tossed journey through the wild and wonderful world of The Real McKenzies. Recorded over several months at Crabapple Downs by the phenomenal Steve Loree, Westwinds is a sonic shot across the bow, a record that demands your attention. From the unapologetic raised middle figure salute of “Fool’s Road” to the hook-laden tongue-in-cheek “My Luck Is So Bad” to one of the most poignant and blood-pumping renditions of Stan Rogers’ “Barrett’s Privateers” that you’ll ever hear, this killer album is set to become an instant classic in the collections of both new and diehard fans alike. Much like a fine single malt scotch, The Real McKenzies only get better with age.
It I can be said, without any exaggeration, that The Real McKenzies are a national treasure.
Founded in 1992 by the larger than life, punk rock poet laureate, Mr Paul McKenzie, this merry band of miscreants has spent a quarter century circumnavigating the globe to bring the McKenzies gospel to an ever-adoring throng of rebels, scallywags and ne’er do wells. There’s not many bands that can boast of a twenty five year career as staggeringly adventurous, wildly tempestuous and utterly death-defying as The Real McKenzies. It would be a serious mistake to write them off as just another Celtic punk band. They are an unstoppable juggernaut of touring mayhem. A ferocious troupe of insanely talented minstrels, storytellers and entertainers melding traditional acoustic and electric to create a sound like no other. Their list of accolades is long. From sharing the stage with the likes of NOFX, Rancid, Flogging Molly, Metallica and Shane McGowan to appearing in film, books and video games to signing with the legendary Fat Wreck Chords, their story continues to astound.
And now, to celebrate their landmark twenty-fifth anniversary, The Real McKenzies return with their 10th and very best long-player to date. And that’s not hyperbole. This is an absolutely monumental giant of an album. “Two Devils Will Talk” is fourteen tracks of pure, unbridled audio bliss. The songs are rebellious, poignant and achingly heartfelt with an extra helpings of Scottish charm and wit to boot. The recurring and very timely themes of Two Devils Will Talk are hope, perseverance and living your life to it’s fullest. Opening track “Due West” is an anthemic epic about moving forward and never looking back, while “Seafarers” is a rollicking tale that deals with accepting the fact that you can’t change how the waves roll, only how you roll through them. There’s even a glorious cover of Stan Rogers’ “Northwest Passage” and a spectacular reworking of “Scots Wha Ha’e” (one of the first ever Real McKenzies recordings). “Two Devils Will Talk” sees a resilient, triumphant and defiantly hopeful band at the very top of their game.
You may be asking yourself; how do I get in on what will surely be the party of the century? Well, fear not true believers, The McKenzies’ ship will be embarking on massive tours across USA , Europe and Canada to bring the celebration to a stage near you in 2017 and beyond. So raise a glass, raise a fist, or better yet, raise a little hell for twenty-five years of The Real McKenzies, and another one still for many more happy years to come!
For fans of: The Dropkick Murphys, Flogging Molly, Gogol Bordello, The Pogues.