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Finnegans Hell - One Finger Salute

Finnegans Hell
One Finger Salute
by Mark "The Beard" McQueen at 02 February 2023, 4:58 AM

With a name like Finnegans Hell and an album title like “One Finger Salute”, it’s not surprising that this is Irish Punk music. It has vulgar lyrics, bawdy tales and not surprisingly is a lot of fun to listen to. This is the type of music you likely will enjoy (especially at a local pub). If I walked into an Irish watering hole some Saturday night and these guys were playing, I would grab a Guinness, look for the dartboard, and settle in for a nice set of Irish aggression. Finnegans Hell is not trying to win any style awards or accomplish any (Bono lets save the world) type objectives. They are, on first listen, simply a “grab a beer and let’s have a good time” type of band. But, whether it’s tales of being drugged in a bar, “Mickey Finn” or the story of a troubled lad in “Run Boy RunFinnegans Hell doses their “good time” with a full shot of “sad reality”.

Most of the numbers are bouncy, but on “God Forsaken Town”, they slow down and produce an almost Dylanesque lament as they tell the story of the kind of place you might have been raised in but can’t wait to get out of. This one probably touches a lot of us in our own ways, makes a poignant point and was one of their more memorable numbers even though the smile it left me, (after hearing it), was more wistful than mirthful. “Coming After You” introduces a banjo to the mix and injects the Irish Punk sound with a touch of Country, while “I’ll Make It up to You” brings the sound back to a full Irish Pub bar sing-a-long with whistles and woodwinds.

“Nothing Left to Lose” is a fun send off to a marriage long gone around the bend and finally and fittingly the album ends with “Oh Death” and its chorus “Oh Death keep your cold dead hands away from me.” Once again replete with banjo and a definite area where the crowd chant-a-longs will (no doubt) occur. In the end, Finnegans Hell is a good time listen even though the tales are a bit depressive. It may not be something you want to hear to every day, but when life gives you a good ass kicking, this just might be the album you pull out and crank up in response.

Songwriting: 8
Musicianship: 7
Memorability: 7
Production: 6

3 Star Rating

1. What have you got in the End?
2. One Finger salute
3. Mickey Finn
4. Read My Lips
5. Godforsaken Town
6. Run Boy Run
7. Comin After You
8. I’ll Make it up to You
9. Nothing Left to Lose
10. Oh Death
Pablo Rautenberg
Micke Ek
San Janson
Rolf Perleij
Esbjorn Nilsson
Record Label: Sound Pollution Distribution


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