The Tossers - Purgatory (Cover Artwork)

The Tossers

The Tossers: PurgatoryPurgatory (2003)
Thick Records

Reviewer Rating: 3.5
User Rating:

Contributed by: moldymoldy
(others by this writer | submit your own)

The south side of Chicago, having a large Irish population that takes great pride in keeping the traditions and culture of the Emerald Isle has produced the Tossers, a band that clings to its Irish roots very tightly and only allow a minimal punk influence in the music. Unlike bands like Flogging.
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The south side of Chicago, having a large Irish population that takes great pride in keeping the traditions and culture of the Emerald Isle has produced the Tossers, a band that clings to its Irish roots very tightly and only allow a minimal punk influence in the music.

Unlike bands like Flogging Molly and Dropkick Murphys, the Tossers only have one song, Chicago that has any punk influence in it, and that comes at the end. Their music is similar to that of the Pogues, a blend of traditional music with lyrics that deal with modern social ills, feelings of despair, and drinking. I think that the singer on this has a great voice, very world weary and mournful during the slower songs, but able to pick up and keep pace with the faster ones. I especially liked the a cappella track Purgatory, a lament about a living a painful life, losing people, and what happens afterward, which I thought showcased his talents quite well. Other good tracks included the jaunty Nantucket Girls Song, and Caoin (Lament) a song that made me just want to sit and reflect about life with a beer and a smoke.

One of my favorites was the 9/11 inspired The Squall, which starts out like a typical pub song but quickly turns into a song about the feelings and actions that lead up to the attacks and our response afterwards. This was probably my favorite song on here, not just for great music, but a simple plea in the chorus about just wanting to get away from both sides and be at peace, which is a feeling I have often felt in the past year or so. Chicago is a tribute to their hometown which shows his disgust at the attempt to gentrify his neighborhood with the building of new expensive condos and driving the rents high while running out the old tenets and segregating people in neighborhoods by color. Mayor Daley and the Real World both get blasted on this, and it ends in an angry punk anthem that I can see becoming a closing number at their future live shows. But not every song is serious reflection on life and the trials that people must go through, Monday Morning is a ode to alcoholism and drinking your weeks away, which if you know me I'm a drunk and any song encouraging it just makes me smile.

I really liked the way this band sounds, they aren't overplaying the Irish theme and making it look corny or for show after listening to this album I can tell that this is the music they love and would be playing it regardless of current fads and styles.


People who liked this also liked:
Dropkick Murphys - Do Or DieRiverboat Gamblers - To the Confusion of Our EnemiesThe Tossers - AgonyBouncing Souls - The Gold RecordDead to Me - Cuban BallerinaSwingin' Utters - Dead Flowers, Bottles, Bluegrass, and BonesRise Against - Revolutions Per MinuteThe Clash - Give 'Em Enough RopeNOFX - The DeclineOperation Ivy - Operation Ivy

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Fine Print: The following comments are owned by whoever posted them. We are not respon sible for them in any way. Seriously.
Anonymous (May 15, 2005)

Many of you are comparing way two different bands. The only two real similarities are that, yes in fact they are both Irish ( good observation there!) and they have the same number of people in each band. Flogging Molly sings more about old Irish history, as where the Tossers sing about things that impact there lives such as Chicago. People love both bands because they sing about something many of us love to do and that is drinking!

Anonymous (January 15, 2005)

First of all its a great cd you should check out some of there older albums. comparing them to flogging molly or dropkick murphys is crap because the tossers have there own style. i llove al 3 of them just the same. for those of you who are critizing them for where they came from are ignorant pieces of sh*t. you've learned nothing from punk rock it doesnt matter where you come from, what color your skin is, what your nationality is, sexual preference, how you dress etc. if you do critize ppl for this sh*t than your just as worthless and ignorant as the other assholes.

Anonymous (May 15, 2004)

stop fioghting and go get a god'dam guinness ;)

Anonymous (May 14, 2004)

First, if you know any of the members of the Tossers, you would realize that they don't claim to be off a boat from Ireland, just American decendents, so please quit bickering about how legit Irish they are. Yeah, they were born in burbs, but you can't blame them for where their parents chose to live. To those born n' bred southsiders, give the boys a break, and take their beer money as they CHOOSE to spend it in your establishments, and just enjoy the music.
Now, to be honest, I have known these fine fellas for years, before they were considered worthy enough to be ranted/raved aboout in a public venue. My personal tastes steer me away from the political lyrics, but I have to throughly respect that they do have opinions and have made thoughtful observations about society. Forget the studio produced "product". To fully appreciate the passion that these boys have for their mucic, culture, and hops farmers, you need to see them play live. Yeah, people want their stuff to sell, whatever. Who wouldn't. Experience them. Forget about what they aren't, and see who they are. They do it for them. Feel lucky to have shared a piece of them...

MattHomeslice (March 10, 2004)

Great band. This is a good album, but Long Dim Road was better.

Anonymous (April 13, 2003)

The Tossers actually started my love, knowledge for Irish music. I wasn't aware of all the great music I was missing out on till a friend took me to one of their shows a few years back. It was then that I fell in love. Not only with their music but with others as well. I do like Fogging Molly, DKM, Blood or Whiskey but with The Tossers and Shane Macgowan and The Popes, Pouges I feel it deep in my soul. I am fucking German, as German as I can be but I say I am Irish by heart. The music when played is in my heart and soul weither drunk or sober it's great and I owe my thanks to The Tossers for sharing and showing that with me. You can make all the comments you want about being a poser and what not but I say fuck all that shit. How can you be a poser when something is in your heart. Shit, The Tossers don't get rich off of this and I am sure never will nor ever want nor plan to. They live life like the rest of us and just enjoy playing to play. It is clear they play from their souls. This new Irish fad is not what their into. They have been doing this for way longer then that. They are not singing about thing that will make them cool they are singing about things they feel or have learned. Most bands try and target certain groups of people for their music and write their songs based on that but, not The Tossers they stay true. They may enjoy to drink, they may even play their shows wasted but you know what, that's who they are. Should they change because they are making the Irish look bad? I think not! Mentions of Tony's fake Irish brogue is somewhat true I agree but, it's been him for how long? It is not fake anymore it's just him. It's apart of him it's his love. Tony has love, and how the fuck can a love for something be fake! I am not here to say you should like this music. Shit, thats your own choice. I am just supporting a band I love and the music I love. The Irish sound is great so cheers to some of my favorite bands Flogging Molly, DMK but, in my soul lies The Tossers and Shane Macgowan and The Popes, Pouges!!!

Anonymous (April 11, 2003)

Flogging Molly rules!

Anonymous (April 11, 2003)

Buy Flogging Molly instead... Flogging Molly is way better.

Anonymous (April 1, 2003)

Ahh...The Pogues.

joeg (March 31, 2003)

"asstackler" i learn more and more new words everyday at punknews.org expanding my vocab.

Anonymous (March 31, 2003)

ps: that last comment is by Fuzzy, I'm in a lab on campus. SEVEN DAYS TILL SENIOR REESEARCH IS DONE BABY.

Anonymous (March 31, 2003)

Comparing the Tossers to either DKM or FM is a flawed analogy. The Tossers are direct descendendats of the Pogues, the Dubliners, and the Irish Rovers. While DKM and FM have a lot of these influences (FM more than DKM), they are still at the base of it all, bigger fans of the Clash than the Pogues. I love all 3 bands, but to assume that just because they all three love Ireland and have a tin whistle in the band that they are the same thing is like assuming that Jimmy Eat World and Rites of Spring are the same because they are "emo".

Anonymous (March 31, 2003)

I believe that the Tossers do the whole "irish" thing that you guys speak of ten times better then Dropkick Murphys or Flogging Molly. These guys seriously have alot of talent. This CD deserves like a score of 11, but it only go's up to 10, so thats the score i gave it.

TheOneTrueBill (March 31, 2003)

"So anyone from beverly, mt.greenwood,or morgan park of the south side-"

southwest side!!!

Anonymous (March 31, 2003)


You obviously never actually paid attention to the lyrics of their last full-lentgh Long Dim Road. Virtually all the songs have a political base and speak of the plight of the Irish at home and abroad. Some very un-cheery music in fact...

Anonymous (March 31, 2003)

Posers from the burbs? get fucked. The Tossers are pure blood south side Chicago. Flogging Molly are a parody, the Tossers are the real deal.

the dude below probably thinks DISTURBED arer the best we have to offer. asstackler

Anonymous (March 31, 2003)

these mother fuckers are from the GOD DAMN SUBURBS!!! not from real irish chicago- So anyone from beverly, mt.greenwood,or morgan park of the south side- or northsides- edgebrook edison park, wildwood, or norwood park,.... DO NOT BUY THIS ALBUM,... demand good chicago irish music! don't support posers from the burbs!!!!

Anonymous (March 30, 2003)

Pegboy, bitches!!!

Anonymous (March 30, 2003)

CHICAGO REPRESENT? How insulting. One of the longest running "jokes" in Chicago.

Hurtful, very hurtful.

Anonymous (March 29, 2003)

so i guess when bands like dropkick murphys and flogging molly sing about getting drunk means that stereotype that's actually true? a shame really, the irish are nice people. i don't want to immediately associate drunkeness with irish people, but i guess bands like dropkick just reinforce it.

Anonymous (March 29, 2003)

Ireland forever...? It seems that all of these Irish-American pride bands wouldn't have the balls to visit their home country... I don't blame them, but Irish punks dont like those bands because A) they bring out the worst of their culture and B) while these guys are all cheery singing about how fun it is to be Irish and get drunk and such, the people that actually live in Ireland cannot at all relate to it... This music is just stupid. The Pogues are the only band like this I need.

Anonymous (March 29, 2003)

A song about 9/11? Lame. It's been 2 years, get over it. I mean, it was a terrible thing, a very terrible thing. But FAR worse things have happened throughout history, even now as we speak. Americans seem to use it as an excuse to be assholes to people from other countries and as an excuse to cry and whine.

Hulka (March 29, 2003)

The rarities comp isn't bad, but this new one sounds exactly like Flogging Molly, and (yes, I know the Tossers came first) FM are better at it.

dropkick (March 28, 2003)

ireland forever,goddamn england,
the tossers are awesome

Anonymous (March 28, 2003)

Watch out guys, the Tossers own you and your house.

-El Vaquero

Anonymous (March 28, 2003)

Watch out guys, there is a dirty Scottsman here!

Anonymous (March 28, 2003)

spoken like a true angry Scottsman! Slainte' (tossers rule!)

Anonymous (March 28, 2003)

irish bands obsessed with drinking? get the hell out of here! flogging molly and dropkick murphys's can lick my big red scottish balls-all you fucking irish pigs can take that irish pride and shove it up your asshole.

Anonymous (March 28, 2003)

I was at that show too and the Tossers were badass. I actually like their records more than the live show though.

TheOneTrueBill (March 28, 2003)

i hate all recorded material from these guys, but i couldn't help but start going crazy when they opened for the Bosstones a couple weeks ago. much better live show than the studio

Anonymous (March 28, 2003)

The Tossers rock! Can't wait to pick this one up.

Anonymous (March 28, 2003)

Chicago represent ya'll!

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