At this point in time, after movies like the Boondock Saints, The Town, and The Departed have turned the city of Boston into a running line of cliches filled with hardened tough guys speaking with that unmistakable accent. Of course, the soundtrack for all of this has been the Celtic punk rock of bands like the Dropkick Murphys. It is true that the raucous sounds of Celtic punk make it the perfect music for, say, getting drunk after a Red Sox game, or getting drunk on St. Patty’s Day, or just getting drunk.
Interestingly enough, one of the bands that is bringing a much-needed, whiskey-soaked shot of youthful energy to Celtic punk is not from Boston at all, but its rival: New York. The Narrowbacks take their name from a slang term given to the first wave of Irish born in America, who were were often referred to as narrowbacks as a way of saying they were lazy and physically incapable of hard labor. The NYC six-piece wears this term proudly as they sing jubilant songs of whiskey, work, and women. On October 15th The Narrowbacks release their new full-length Arrogance & Ignorance. Compared to their Boston brethren, these New Yorkers keep the rowdy Celtic punk spirit going strong while also adding a Springsteen-esque, bar band sound. Today we have a sneak peek of Arrogance & Ignorance with an exclusive premiere of their song “Ole”. If the name didn’t give it away, the song is an anthemic ode to that chant you’ve probably heard a million times at a soccer match or at a drunken sports bar gathering. To hammer it home, the band took the chant, sped it up, and added a mess of instruments to make it as danceable as it is chantable. Even though plenty of shit talk gets exchanged between Boston and New York – especially when it comes to sports – “Ole” is a song about bonding over just being Irish.
Vocalist Seamus Keane offers up his own thoughts on the song: “Ole is just a common chant that happens at Irish sporting events, concerts, and parties. Crowds at shows used to chant it and we would play along, but before March last year with our show with the Dropkick Murphys in mind, I decided to write set verses for the song. They’re celebrating the history of the Irish who emigrated to the US and the success they’ve had every generation since coming out to Irish strongholds in Boston and New York.”
Arrogance & Ignorance is out October 15th. For more music and info check out narrowbacks.com.