"Oot & Aboot" (Honest Don's; 2003)

Reviewed by R. Scott Bolton

With more in common with the Ramones than Rancid, "Oot & Aboot" is an energetic punk rock record with a Celtic flavor that will probably appeal to more than just fans of the admittedly uncrowded genre.

The Real McKenzies' "Oot & Aboot" is quite different from the work of perhaps their most popular genre pals, The Dropkick Murphys. First, "Oot & Aboot" is a much smoother, easier record than most of DKM's stuff, again invoking the Ramones vs. Rancid comparison. It's not pop punk like Blink 182 and their many clones but it's not the hard-edged ragefest that Rancid is (or at least was) best known for. And those who complain that there are no guitar solos in punk will be pleased to know there are plenty in "Oot & Aboot" and they're all pretty damn good. Add to that mix a couple of songs that mix things up with blistering metal riffage and The Real McKenzies stand above the competition.

As this is my first time hearing the band, I can't comment on how "Oot & Aboot" compares to other Real McKenzies' records. However, I have read that the mix is different here, leaving the bagpipes in the background rather than way up front. Even if that's the case, the mix works for "Oot & Aboot." Blaring bagpipes - although it's surprising how well they work in punk and some metal - would be too much of a good thing here. Another complaint I've heard is that "Oot & Aboot" is more accessible than the band's previous work. Again, without hearing the previous CDs, I can neither confirm nor deny that; however, I can certainly imagine The Real McKenzie's sound with a harder edge. Still, "Oot & Aboot" works just fine as is.

The Real McKenzies: Dirty Kurt Robertson - guitar, vocals; Matt MacNasty - bagpipes; Mark "The Bone" Boland - guitar; Jamie Fawkes - bass; Brad Attitude - drums; Paul McKenzie - lead vocals.

For more information, check out

Rating Guide:

A classic. This record will kick your ass.

Killer. Not a classic but it will rock your world.

So-so. You've heard better.

Pretty bad. Might make a nice coaster.

Self explanatory. Just the sight of the cover makes you wanna hurl.

Back to CD Reviews Home

Back to Home

Copyright 2004 by R. Scott Bolton. All rights reserved.
Revised: 03 Jun 2024 13:03:49 -0400.