The Pogues
Rum, Sodomy & The Lash


5.0
classic

Review

by Meatplow USER (111 Reviews)
May 22nd, 2009 | 13 replies | 2,796 views


Release Date: 1985 | Tracklist


2 of 2 thought this review was well written

Rum, Sodomy & The Lash is the 1985 second studio album from The Pogues, who are billed as a primary force in the Anglo-Irish folk punk band scene. This is to mean that the group played in the styles of traditional Irish folk music but were also influenced by the punk movement happening in Britain in the late 70's (a video of singer Shawn McGowan singing God Save The Queen by The Sex Pistols in an elevator during those days can be seen in the excellent 2000 Julien Temple documentary Filth & The Fury). Rum, Sodomy & The Lash is often considered the groups finest hour, an honest, uncompromising 40 minutes or so of folk music with a kick in the balls of the best kind which is that by The Pogues.

Every track on here is a poignant lyrical expression from Shane McGowan, perhaps one of the ugliest, most junked up, drunken men alive. His fondness for hard drug use and alcohol have been well publicised over the years, but this does nothing to detract from what could be described as a subtle poetic wit hiding behind a laymans good humour. He is a genius in his own unforced way, many of the lyrics on Rum, Sodomy & The Lash such as those found on The Sick Bed of Cuchulainn, The Old Main Drag, A Pair of Brown Eyes. Sally MacLennane and Dirty Old Town are nothing less then completely engaging. Whilst McGowans vocals are of an untrained, rough and rugged kind that ironically seem to come from the best songwriters (Waits and Cohen, please stand up) much like these artists they are completely unique to him and give The Pogues an unmatched Irish heart and soul.

The lyrics are perfect, but if it wasn't for the rebellious spirit and lust for life oozing through the music in the way only a group drunken Irishmen could present this album wouldn't be half of what it is. The instrumental tracks Wild Cats of Kilkenny and A Pistol For Paddy Garcia are truly beautiful, strings and guitarwork evoking stong emotions within the listener the way the best folk music should. The arrangements on every other song are no different, whether it's the faster paced The Sick Bed Of Cuchulainn (which shows a notable punk influence more then anything in its attitude) or slower material such as The Band Played Waltzing Matilda (an emotional account of an Australian soldier coming back from the war) it's all gold. Add superb traditional renditions such as I'm a Man You Don't Meet Every Day, Jesse James and The Gentleman Soldier and musically, this album is notably strong.

Rum, Sodomy & The Lash is a unique and honest affair, The Pogues having struck a completely consistent and satisfying album which is quite unlike the output of any other group out there. This is drinking music at it's finest, and whilst some criticism seems to be leveled towards the second half it feels completely unfounded to me. Rum, Sodomy & The Lash is a true gem waiting to be discovered by anyone who hasn't heard it before, Anglo-Irish folk punk at it's finest (that is if you consider this a genre).



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Comments:Add a Comment 
rasputin
May 22nd 2009



14504 Comments


Good review, good album.

Meatplow
May 22nd 2009



5524 Comments


thanks man

discovered this through my public library, one of the few albums from there that have transcended this notion of "library music" ;)

MassiveAttack
May 22nd 2009



2684 Comments


Fantastic review Meatplow I was always keenly interested in this group.

thebhoy
Emeritus
May 22nd 2009



4459 Comments


Pogues are good stuff. Good review. Keep churnin' em' out man.

STOP SHOUTING!
May 22nd 2009



628 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

The lyrics on The Old Main Drag (about being a rent boy) are extraordinary, as are many of the songs.

Not mad about some of the second side such as Jesse James.

Their debut album is almost very good with even more of a punk attitude.

AggravatedYeti
May 22nd 2009



7684 Comments


I want this, I never really got into The Pogues but they seem right up my alley.
also for how much you talk about McGowan's lyrics in the 2nd paragraph, you have no examples of this 'poetic wit' -- just sayin...

Meatplow
May 22nd 2009



5524 Comments


It's cool. I could have provided examples but I felt the review was of sufficient length and description already, as long as I gave an overall feel of what is essential to my listening experience i'm sure i've left plenty for the adventurous listener to discover.

Fantastic review Meatplow I was always keenly interested in this group.


Yeah, they rule. Thanks.

Pogues are good stuff. Good review. Keep churnin' em' out man.


Will do, cheers ;)

The lyrics on The Old Main Drag (about being a rent boy) are extraordinary, as are many of the songs.

Not mad about some of the second side such as Jesse James.

Their debut album is almost very good with even more of a punk attitude.


The Old Main Drag is one of my all time favourite songs. Navigator onwards seems to be the weakest point of the album (until The Band Played Waltzing Matilda at least) but i've gotten used to these three tracks and they don't seem to detract anything from the overall feel of it for me. I haven't checked out any of their other albums, but I probably should as I love this one to pieces.

kitsch
May 22nd 2009



5105 Comments


pogues rule but i havent heard this

burnafterbreeding
May 22nd 2009



1466 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Great review dude. Really nice work.

Meatplow
May 22nd 2009



5524 Comments


thanks

pogues rule but i havent heard this


you should, you have pretty good taste so i'll think you'll dig this

lauriej
May 23rd 2009



1710 Comments


wow silverfang you wrote your first good review

Meatplow
May 23rd 2009



5524 Comments


yeah man i've been working on my poetry i'm getting much better

jrowa001
May 23rd 2009



8749 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

great album. ive been listening to a lot of irish punk and irish folk. such fun music



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