The brains behind this operation is none other than Brett Alexander Boye. He hails from Wyckoff, NJ, and was the guitarist for the legendless Spongegod. As co-owner of Coolidge Records, Brett has taken the plunge into a new territory of music: Crazy Bagpipe Punk! can you dig it? Taking influences from Big Country, The Pogues, Black Flag, and The Who, The Rusty Nails will kick you in the groin.
So sit back, grab a drink, and listen to The Rusty Nails...
* - Contains bagpipes in some way, shape or form.
For more information please contact Jack or Brett at:
Coolidge Records (212-488-8074)
Band website: The Rusty Nails
When I put this CD in my player I wasn't sure exactly what I was going to hear. I had read the information above and was prepared for some bagpipes and possibly something in the style of Big Country. The information sheet assured me that The Rusty Nails would kick me in the groin and I guess what assailed my ears on pressing 'play' was, in fact, the musical equivalent. "Bloody Hell", I thought as I pressed 'stop', "what the f*ck was that?"
After recovering my composure and, now being in no doubt of what to expect, I decided to have another go. This time I got as far as 16 seconds into the first track before something went wrong with my CD player and I started again. I realised on this 3rd play that there was nothing wrong with my CD player and that was just the singing voice of Brett Alexander Boye! Now that I had been introduced to the music and Brett's individual singing style, I started the 4th play and forced myself to listen to the CD all the way through, listening carefully to each track.
I have come to the conclusion that Brett gets severely 'pissed-up' before a recording session and then finds it difficult to sing in tune. Either that or he just has a God-awful singing voice. The music on the other hand is a different story: there are some good, catchy, melodic and even 'cool' songs on this album. For someone who has only been playing bagpipes for 3 years he plays very well. The bagpipes are not known for being easy to play in tune but Brett does a pretty good job at keeping them in check, "Son of Heaven" being a good example of this. The song conjures up images of the Scottish Highlands in my head to the extent that I can almost imagine that I'm there.
If Brett is planning on releasing a follow-up album then I would strongly recommend getting someone else to do the vocals. A decent singer combined with music built on from this album could result in a fantastic LP. As far as Big Country being an influence goes, apart from a smattering of ebow-use, the start of track 10 is the closest to the 'Big Country sound' that you are likely to get, that and of course the fact that people seem to associate bagpipes with Big Country for some reason...
The 'top track' on the album has to be track 8 - "Where's My Rusty Nail" which happens to be the only track to which Brett's voice is perfectly suited. The bagpipes and his vocals combined with some well-chosen background banter makes for a great song, guaranteed to cheer you up, no matter how low you might be! The funniest section of the album has to be during track 11 where a piper 'collapses' and we are told that there is "a piper down, repeat, a piper is down" but don't worry: it turns out that he's just drunk! :-)
So, in summary then, if you have any interest in bagpipes or celtic music then this album is worth a listen if you can tolerate Brett's voice. Even if you can't, the instrumentals "This Is Your Calling" and "Smoky Horizon" are definitely worthy of your attention. Visit Coolidge Records' web page (link above) to see more and to order the CD.