Taking you from the hearth of a fireplace to the heart of a rebellion, Nottingham’s own Celtic-punk Ferocious Dog have produced an album that has managed to infuse a healthy dosage of punk-style commentary into its diverse soundscape…
Ken Bonsall and co may not quite be as consistently ferocious here as they have in the past, but it leaves room for more harmonious anthems that will leave a smile on your face and beer on your breath.
Fake News and Propaganda stays true to the sound of Ferocious Dog; Bonsall’s attitude along with the intricate dynamic fiddle work of Dan Booth and the ravaging tones of an electric guitar complete the recipe of this folk-meet-punk genre. Instilled within this hybrid soundscape are ever-changing lyrical themes, whether it be unity in the face of adversity (a concept that strongly resonates throughout the track Cover Me), to the hearty “life’s for the living” message in Yellow Feather. Neither of which can shout louder than Ferocious Dog’s shoulder-worn political commentary.
With the chaos of Brexit and fake news still afoot it’s an exciting time in politics, making a perfect climate for songs like Fake News to have Bonsall striking up a chorus over the conglomeration of mass media chanting. As the latter half of Up All Night brings some ferocity and cynicism to the subject of the infamous EU referendum, it’s a great way to blow off some steam.
Great though it is, there is arguably potential for FNAP to edge even closer to perfection. While I would never want the band to compromise their signature motif, the electric guitar does seem to be limited in providing the underlying growl to tracks in which it appears. Perhaps giving it a little more space to stretch its strings — even for a moment — would add lightning to what is an already exhilarating package.
Nevertheless, looking back to 2017’s Red, this record is evidence that the Celtic Punk rockers from Warsop are evolving, or perhaps maturing their style as their track list construction gives equal amount of limelight to each of their emerging styles. You will see just as much devotion to the balls-to-the-wall tracks in Traitor’s Gate and Bedlam Boys as you will with the heart-string pullers like Justice for 96 and Lacey-Lee giving the record a more well-rounded aftertaste; something that Red simply missed.
It’s definitely an exciting time to be a Celtic-punk fan, and Ferocious Dog have once again shown us why.
By Alex Mace