The Tossers
The Valley Of The Shadow Of Death



by Rudd13 USER (61 Reviews)
June 25th, 2006 | 5 replies

Release Date: 2005 | Tracklist

In Great Britain, if anyone"s ever referred to as a "Tosser", you"re an equivalent to a jerkoff, so to speak, in American lingo. One who takes large, unusual interest in independent fondling is by no means a healthy and stable individual. A large amount of drinking and violence is set in the backdrop of this meaning, starring as the name of yet another rising "Celtic Rock" band of the early 90"s. Having taken some time to getting largely discovered, The Tossers, a seven piece (mob) out of Chicago have been labeled as the truest modern folk band in years. Their sound can be easily compared as that of also outgoing Flogging Molly, with a wondrous array of early folk roots, yet taking interest with just a small bit of a rock drive. This sound is best left for ears only, instead of words.

The Valley Of The Shadow Of Death is The Tossers" latest album, released sometime in late 2005. The album is one of band"s best tries at the world of drinking and violent themes, as well as some marvelously played ballads. Leads in the album all have some small relativity, which makes for a very easy listen, as well as staying true to the band"s genre. One of the more on-track things about the music would the excellent introductory scores. The gritty strumming throughout Out On The Road, and The Crock Of Gold gives the music the perfect sense that it belongs to the same family as Shane McGowan. Tony Duggins, the lead vocalist, hands out a taste of one of the harshest, meanest vocals to be heard behind the same set as a compelling fiddle, a rushed mandolin, and driven percussion, all to create a truly excellent score on the record.

Preab San Ol, starts out in what seems to be a man praying in Yiddish, and becomes an instrumental to remember. As well as the title track, which serves as the final blow of the album, Preab San Ol is a heart-pounding, bright celebration of folk roots with powerful vocals and smart rock rhythms. A Criminal Of Me and Goodmornin" Da are on the side of the album that send out the faster-paced songs, as well as more rushed and harsher rhythms. The Crock Of Gold is a combination of a ballad, back-up with an interesting story, transformed into another compelling look at the band members" pasts. The over-dubbed roll of the low-toned snare drum matches the silenced fury of the violently-strummed mandolin in a very unique fashion. All this makes for the best way out in the outro for one of the best scores on the album.

All in all, The Valley Of The Shadow Of Death is a very interesting start if you want to take up the band"s work. It has very sentimental ballads, as well as fast-paced tracks that can range from an outlook at the future in a drunk"s perspective, to a song all about fighting for money. The leads are the best part of the album for me and they all make the album perfect to be labeled as an easy listen, as well as something that"s always been different. The musicians are on-key, most of them very talented, and all take material fairly at ease for the listener to catch on and enjoy the music at a favorable pace.

The Tossers seem to have their own idea when it comes to "Celtic Rock", as bands like Murphy"s Law and Flogging Molly, as well as the Dropkicks and The Pogues all center around the same idea for music, they will always be very different from one another.

The Tossers- The Valley Of The Shadow Of Death:
-Tony Duggins - Vocals and Mandolin
-Dan Shaw - Bass and Accordion
-Aaron Duggins - Tin Whistle
-Clay Hansen " Banjo
-Mike Pawula " Guitar
-Rebecca " Fiddle
-Bones " Drums

Stand Out Tracks:
A Criminal Of Me
The Crock Of Gold
Out On The Road
The Valley Of The Shadow Of Death


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user ratings (32)

Comments:Add a Comment 
June 25th 2006


From the tracks that I have heard these guys are much better then the Dropkick Murphys and Flogging Molly. Good job on the review, you really know your irish folk/punk.

June 25th 2006


Good review. It Sounds like somthing i would enjoy. The Murphy's are one of my favourite bands, so I will check this out for sure.

March 12th 2010


Album Rating: 4.0

Sadly underrated band

March 1st 2013


Album Rating: 4.0

This is on par with Flogging Molly... way better than Dropkick. IMO.

May 2nd 2014


Album Rating: 4.0

From the "folk" point of view I agree, these guys are too underrated and they're better than Dropkick. The Murphys are better from the "punk" point of view. Somewhere in between the twos there are the Flogging Molly... which is a more complete band in my opinion. Anyway I love them all and this album is really good. Pos'd for reviewing it.

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