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Review: 'Ferocious Dog'
'The Hope'   

-  Label: 'Graphite Records'
-  Genre: 'Punk/New Wave' -  Release Date: '15.10.21.'

Our Rating:
The Hope is the new album by hard touring Celtic punk legends Ferocious Dog, who if you haven't seen them live are well worth catching on the bands current UK Tour. The band are doing a lot of good work worth the Combat Stress charity who they have already donated £5000 towards.

The album opens with Port Issac and a storm brewing full of strings and a deep bass drum that sounds like a cannon as it slowly morphs into and becomes there re-working of the classic folk song Haul Away Joe that has furious fiddles and is played at a cracking pace.

Pentrich Rising is a fiddletastic tune about the English Civil War a subject that seems to have been a major source of inspirations for all sorts of punks and I'm sure many of the re-enactors will be happy to add this tune to the cannon of songs on the subject, as the tale of the Pentrich Rising unfolds and the workers unite to fight the oppression.

Victims has a great Irish folk punk feel to this tale of all the poor victims and the suffering they have endured with the drums almost beating the retreat at one point in Honour of those whose lives have been destroyed.

Broken Soldier is a song about the toll fighting against the Taliban has on soldiers, in particular what happened to Ken Bonsall's son on returning from the most pointless war this country has fought in many generations. This song is also raising money for The Combat Stress charity that seeks to help soldiers returning with PTSD and all the other problems they have re-adjusting to normal life.

The Hope has a slow gentle almost ballad like intro to a tale of heartbreak and pain at not being able to help a total lost soul in the form of that Broken Soldier who doesn't know how to get the help he or she needs set against swirling strings and choral backing vocals this is stirring and poignant.

Exiled Life (The Chase) sounds like it will be a live classic as they sing of always feeling like they are in Exile and outside society and on the road and free of being part of mainstream society with the tune sounding like an old school rebel air.

Khatyn is a sorrowful tale of what happened there in 1943 when the Nazi's massacred everyone in sight in retaliation for the actions of the local Soviet Partisans, yet another tragedy happening in Belarus and the surrounding Baltic lands my family fled from a few decades earlier, from villages that were intersected by the road that leads to Khatyn. This is just one of many tragedies that should never be forgotten as we try to learn from history and not repeat those mistakes again.

1914 is a song of love and loss for those sent into the senseless slaughter of the first world war and a widow left at home with just a letter to remember her love by, while hoping that one day he'll return, this is slow plaintive and heart-breaking song that slowly builds.

Born Under Punches is a ferocious folk punk tune of domestic violence of living with alcoholic parents and how they drive there kids away to seek a better way, even if that means living rough and begging to get by on the mean streets of London, where you'll end up fighting just as hard as you would at home.

Punk Police isn't a Vice Squad cover, this being a far more Celtic take on how you marshal the punks into policing themselves, as they chase you down for wearing the wrong t-shirt or sniffing glue from a non-recyclable plastic bag and all sorts of other punk offences as the guitars really come to the fore to ram the message home.

Slayed The Traveller is a very jaunty Celtic punk romp for the changing times we live in as they try to move along while sounding a lot like Flogging Molly chasing the devil down to Georgia and beyond, this sounds like it will get the mosh pit flying as it picks up pace.

Parting Glass is the last salute before leaving another town behind, raise that glass and say goodnight like this could be the final song of the set rather than the last drink you'll ever have Slainte! This will leave everyone smiling at the end of the night.

Sea Shepherd opens with an accordion solo, before it goes off on a mad whirl across the seven seas in search of adventure and hopefully to save the oceans from mans destructive urges to over fish and destroy the oceans.

The album closes with a wonderful version of Will You (Feat. Hazel O'Connor) on one of her biggest hits and a song that has been a highlight whenever I saw Hazel live way back when. This version is violin led as the always poignant tale of if you should stay or just politely say good night. Hazel's voice still sounds wonderful and is full of emotion and the violins really sound as full of passion as the lovers hopefully are too.

Find out more at https://thehope.ferociousdog.co.uk/ https://ffm.to/thehope???https://www.facebook.com/FerociousDog

  author: simonovitch

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