The Popes ‘New Church’ cd

The Popes return with their new album in March 2012 the follow up to the 2009 critically acclaimed ‘Outlaw Heaven’. ‘New Church’ is the bands strongest album to date.
Shane MacGowan formed The Popes to record his album ‘The Snake’ in 1994 after leaving The Pogues. The band released two studio albums and a live album with Shane but have gone onto record a further three albums with Paul (Mad Dog) McGuiness taking charge of lead vocals.
‘New Church’ is the bands fourth album, and what revelation this has turned out to be.

This may be Shane McGowan’s legacy, and it’s a good one, but Mad Dog McGuinness is a hard and harsh vocalist, and stamps his authority all over this, while Will Morrison and Jim McAllister make a great rhythm section. Charlie Hoskyns guitar really works hard against Dave Allen’s fiddle.
Im not a big fan of irish fiddleing music, but I approached this with an open mind, and im glad I did, for this susprised me, in the quality of the songwriting and musicianship on display here. There are no weak songs on here, just some that are stronger than others.
From the punked up blitzkreig of opener ‘Storming Heaven’ to the rousing Celtic tones of ‘How Many Bullets’, from the feel-good anthem that is ‘Alice’ to the grandeur vibe of the brooding ‘In A Broken Dream’ this album delivers great song after great song.
The album also features as stunning guest slot from Howard Marks on
‘Throw Down Your Aces’.

Other songs such as ‘The Queen of Manhattan’, positively shine, while ‘Hanging Up My Guns’ has a sad and sorrowful tone.
‘A Little More’ is a great track to listen to and album closer ‘Back In The Day’ leaves you on an ‘up’ note.
All good tracks, some great tracks, some very clever tracks, and a cover track.
The cover version is a song called ‘In A Broken Dream’, by Python Lee Jackson, and no, I didn’t know who he was either, I had to look him up on Youtube.

01.Storming Heaven
02.New Church
03.How Many Bullets
04.Throw Down Your Aces (featuring Howard Marks)
06.Queen Of Manhattan
07.Love Shines
08.Hanging Up My Guns
09.Are We Still Lovers
10.A Little More
11.In A Broken Dream
12.Alice (Reprise)
13.What’s Done Is Done
14.Back In The Day

8/10.A band that deserve more attention, this album should get them the recognition in their own right.

About David Farrell

General Manager and 'THE' competition guy at Manager of The Goddanm Electric, Tour manager for Serpentine, and ex-general Dogsbody at Media partner to numerous bands. Also takes photos, writes reviews and likes classic rock, with a touch of thrash to get the blood flowing.