Mickey Rickshaw - Home in Song (Cover Artwork)

Mickey Rickshaw

Home in Song (2019)

Self Released

Mickey Rickshaw and their fans have been patiently waiting for the next full length to be released. And here it is, Home in Song, a near perfect conglomeration of Celtic-punk songs with hints of various other influences peppered in.

The record begins with the perfect track to set the tone for the rest of the album. “Home in Song”, a nostalgic tune about hometown basement shows, begins with a slow anticipatory Celtic-infused intro before melting into a raucous punk rock song. The rest of the album more or less follows a similar formula, though the record never feels repetitive, partially because of the various different instruments. And the band has a knack for melody, which is clear on songs like “Drag”, “Keep Afloat”, and “Rope” among others. In some cases, the fiddle, whistle, or bouzouki provide the catchy overture melody in the beginning that snags the listener. Other times, it’s simply the melody of the vocals that hold your attention.

While the band’s main sound is driven by Irish melody and punk attitude, the group also incorporates a broad range of styles. Songs like “Dracia” and “Fang” embrace a love of ska, the latter of which includes a Mediterranean feel as well. And “Vagrant” includes a Western-influenced sound which matches the lyrics perfectly.

And despite presenting a wide range of musical influences, punk rock remains the backbone of this album, particularly the gang mentality that amps up the passion. I’m a huge fan of background vocals, which can transform a song completely. “Drag”, probably my favorite track on the album, is a great example of this. The band has been playing this song live for a little while now and it is definitely a crowd favorite, mainly because of the sing-along parts during the chorus and the “Whoahs” at the end of the song, which mimic the melodic interludes. And because of this gang vocal approach, there are plenty of other opportunities to shout along in songs like “Soldier On” and “Loud and Clear”, as well as some of the aforementioned tracks.

After listening to Home in Song, it’s clear that the guys in Mickey Rickshaw have worked hard at writing and recording an album that can appeal to a wide audience without straying from their main sound. All 11 songs are catchy, well-written, passionate, and cohesive. This is definitely my favorite release of the year so far and although it’s still early, I can predict that it will likely remain a favorite of mine as 2019 rolls along.