Matilda's Scoundrels

As The Tide Turns

Written by: MAK on 25/08/2017 20:26:02

Watching a band grow from the very beginning of their career can be a wondrous thing; I’ve managed to witness Hastings folk punks, Matilda’s Scoundrels, perform at some of their very first shows in 2014 in the toilet scene of Sussex and watched them evolve over time into one of the hot topics of the United Kingdom’s DIY punk scene. For the past couple of years, the south coast sextet has performed at the likes of the established Rebellion Festival, drawing in bigger crowds each year along with tearing the roof off at Manchester Punk Festival. 2017 has already seen them travel to Europe for the first time and perform at the popular Mighty Sounds Festival in the Czech Republic, all before heading into the studio to record their debut album, “As the Tide Turns”.

What you can expect from Matilda’s Scoundrels is a brand of aggro folk-punk that is fun and gritty, full of crunchy riffs and gruff dual vocals from Thomas Quinn and Jason Stirling. This is topped off by Quinn’s plinky sounding mandolin, Stirling’s tin whistle and Jens Jensen’s accordion, adding to the band’s authentic take on folk music. The album closer, “Into the Fire”, showcases this at its true potential as each instrument shines brightly — especially the tin whistle melody, which it sticks in your head for hours after hearing it. The punkier side shows through the most in a track such as the politically charged “Shackles & Bones”, with some of the most distorted riffs I’ve heard Dan Flanagan produce with this band. The song, which is about the American prison system, is perhaps one of the heaviest songs recorded in all of Matilda’s Scoundrels’ repertoire and has been one of the songs in the band’s live setlists for over a year now, along with, I think, “Take to the Streets” and one of the most fun songs that band have ever written: “Godforsaken Sea”. Usually a set-closer, it has a big sing-along segment of “Away, away, away we go to sea”, which is always enjoyable to join in with.

This is an album that you should listen to with really good headphones or speakers to completely appreciate all the elements. I listened to it through crappy laptop speakers at first and I was worried that the production wasn’t that great. However, with decent quality speakers, I found that this is the best I have heard the band on record — especially on a song like “Burn It Down”, where there’s a lot to focus on. In comparison to the likes of the ever-so-polished Flogging Molly and Dropkick Murphys, this still sounds a little raw, but compared to the grittier likes of The Lagan and Roughneck Riot, the album fits in right at home.

“As the Tide Turns” is quite the jump up from the “Crowley’s Curse” single last year and their split release with fellow Hastings punks The Barracks. Usually, I’ve found Matilda’s Scoundrels to be better live than on record, and although they perhaps still are, this album does their song-writing and energy a lot more justice. For a while, I’ve been after recordings that match the high energy of “Pissheads Anthem” and “Folk Shit Up”, but instead we now have an album’s worth of songs that trump them completely and with plenty of sing-along hooks and segments to rock out to.

Download: Shackles & Bones, Into the Fire, Godforsaken Sea
For the fans of: The Lagan, Mick O'Toole, Roughneck Riot
Listen: Facebook

Release date 08.09.2017

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