I've promoted this one to the top of the pile, so that I can get the review out there in time for the World Cup! The Vandon Arms hail from Des Moines, Iowa, and usually play a highly competent brand of Celtic punk in the manner of Flogging Molly and the Dropkick Murphys. This recently released EP is a bit of a departure. Most of the songs are in more of a streetpunk style, and as the cover suggests, the dominant theme is football (soccer). Three of the six tracks are humourous takes on being a football fan, and the closing track 'Over There' is a potential anthem for the U.S. national team (though its riff sounds suspiciously like the one from 'Vindaloo'). I can really relate to 'My Football Team's Got Me Drinkin'', a lament for a lovable losing team over a stomping Ramones-y beat.
It's not all full-on punk, though. Even the noisier tracks tend to have traditional instruments shining through. And there are two traditional tunes that are played in great spirits and with the acoustic instruments cranked up. These two are not really football songs, but they're both famous for being sung at football grounds. 'The Blaydon Races' is an old Geordie song that's popular on the terraces at Newcastle United matches. And the rollicking 'Miss O'Leary' is a big hit among Chicago Fire supporters: 'Late last night while we were all in bed / Miss O'Leary left a lantern in the shed / When the cow tipped it over she winked her eye and said / There'll be a hot time in the old town tonight / Fire Fire Fire!'
This won't be everyone's cup of tea, but if you're into football, folk, punk and drunken singalongs, you might find it as appealing as I do.
Available through iTunes and MySpace Music.