The Real McKenzies - Loch'd & Loaded (Cover Artwork)
Staff Pick

The Real McKenzies

Loch'd & Loaded (2001)

Honest Don's

When I first heard of these guys my immediate reaction was "Oh great, another band trying to cash in on the popularity of the Dropkicks." Kilts, bagpipes, songs with alcohol in the titles...yeah, real original guys.

As usual, I have made myself out to an idiot with my jackass comments. The Real McKenzies' 3rd (I believe) full length album, "Loch'd & Loaded", has proven to be one of the premier releases of 2001. As opposed to their counterparts, the Dropkick Murphys, The Real McKenzies base their sound on an entirely Scottish Heritage. And yes kids, Scottish and Irish are two completely different heritages.

The first noticeable trait of the McKenzies is their use of the bagpipes. The bagpipes are in almost every song. They aren't just a novelty item for a song or two. Guitar riffs, hooks, vocal styling and drum beats are all centered around....the bagpipes? Normally, such a move or notion in music would be highly questioned, but don't doubt the McKenzies. "Loch'd & Loaded" breaks many musical boundaries previously defined.

The album kicks off with 'Nessie', (mp3 available at Honest Don' assumable about the largest living monster in the world, conveniently located in...Scotland? From their the album goes into a barrage of Scottish pride anthems such as 'Raise the Banner', 'Scots Round the World' and 'Swords of a Thousand Men'. But where would a punk-Scottish album be without the songs of booze. Present. Reference 'Whiskey Scotch Whiskey', a damn good drinking song if I've ever heard one. Also included are 2 traditional Scottish songs, 'Flower of Scotland' and 'Bonnie Mary'. Both tracks showcase amazing bagpipe and mandolin performances.

Maybe I'm just a dope for Celtic influenced, bagpipe-ridden, drink-along punkrock. Nah, I just like good music.