There is a saying of my late grandad’s that has stuck with me all my life. I was about six when he said to me: “Money doesn’t talk, it shouts. Really loud.”
The more you think about it, the more the obscene gaps in wealth between the powerful and the rest of us get bigger, the more I think my dad’s dad might have been a sage of the modern age.
The Ramshackle Army might well agree with the sentiment in fairness. The whole of “Highflyer” seems a rumination on that point. “Where is the line in the sand?” muses the title track. “Why do high-flyers sink so low?” And that’s pretty much nailed the scum like Matt Hancock, Dominic Cummings, the tub of shit that idiots voted as Prime Minister and just about anyone else, who thinks the rules do not apply to them.
“Highflyer” the EP as opposed to the track is a five song statement. A major label debut, it has everything you’d want from a Celtic Punk band. That’s what these Aussies are, and as they are totally unashamed about it, we’ll just say it too. And lets also say this: if you like The Dropkick Murphy’s, you’ll love this.
That all being said, though this is not a copy of anything. Instead, the six piece take the formula and play with it. “Bend Not Break” adds harmony and a rock n roll spirit to this. Blue collar rock and roll at that.
There’s a fantastic sense of melody on “Rise And Fall” that has echoes of Ferocious Dog and their gang mentality, and the rough and ready “The Also Rans”, is so up for the challenge that you can only imagine what RMA would be like live.
“Old Weapons” feels like a state of the union. “The old ones won’t give up and hate and war” they seethe over something that is close to Mighty Mighty Bosstones if they swapped the ska for a violin and a flute.
A debut EP that feels like a statement of intent. “Highflyer” is superb, and yes, its probably not the most original record of 2021 but it was never supposed to be. This is a band playing what they know and love.