In this week’s captivating installment, our team of charming musical voyagers (not up for interpretation) take a trip into the hooliganistic and booze-soaked world of 1980s Ireland to dive deep into Rum, Sodomy & the Lash, the 1985 sophomore album by The Pogues, one of the bands who were, at the time, doing a lion’s share of the work defining the genre of celtic punk. Above the pastoral and beautiful compositions that took from and built on the 60s UK folk movement lay lead singer Shane MacGowan’s grim yet romantic lyrics, explorations of common men rebelling against the system but, more often, explorations of the system taking down the common man; it’s a testament to their skill as writers that these pessimistic tales turned out as beautiful as they often did. Topics discussed include (but are not limited to): the two Irish punk bands we know, Warped Tour autographs, albums skating by on the success of a single, history lessons as music, this band without Shane Macgowan, etc.

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