The Mighty Regis - 21
Record Label – Unsigned
Release – June 19th, 2010
Somewhere hidden out between the Boston-based celtic-punk of the Dropkick Murphy's and Los Angeles' irish-folk Flogging Molly are the up-and-coming The Mighty Regis. The California-based band trekked the country for a good portion of the 2010 Warped Tour, promoting the freshly released 21.
Seven members strong, The Mighty Regis come just as diverse as any other celtic-rock act on the scene. There’s the standard drums-bass-guitar foundation, of course, accented by a variety of other instruments that bring this Irish-influenced sound to the forefront – mandolin, accordion, banjo, and the occasional tin whistle from Miss Ryan O’Neill. As the band’s Myspace reads: The Mighty Regis sounds like “The fastest mandolin in the world stealing yer girlfriend whilst kicking yer arse.” And if that's not enough to get you listening, I don't know what is.
A heavy Irish brogue from lead vocalist Franky McNorman drives The Mighty Regis through ten hard, fast tracks, complemented by a touch of O’Neill’s feminine backing vocals.
Perhaps the standout track of the album, “Paddy Don’t Live In Hollywood” kicks off with a catchy, get-your-hands-clapping bit of melody, before falling into a folkier train that The Mighty Regis have come to call their own. And I won’t lie and say it’s not odd to hear Hollywood’s Walk of Fame referenced amidst such a heavy Irish accent. Of course, that’s the entire point of the track – an Irishman (or an Irish band, I suppose) unfittingly trapped in the Los Angeles/Hollywood environment.
It’s unfortunate that the production of this album favors the instrumentals, often times drowning McNorman’s vocals and making it difficult to decipher the lyrics beneath the Irish-laden music. Otherwise well put-together, this slight of hand may leave you wanting less when your ear only catches to the melody, bypassing the overwhelmed lyrics.
The album's final track “Jeni’s Whiskey” is a solid celtic-rock instrumental. Regrettably a handful of joking bloopers are tacked on to the song's final fifty seconds, detracting from an otherwise well-placed folk track. It's humorous on the first listen or two but proves annoying past that point.
If you're looking for a new band to add to your novelty selection of celtic-rock, the foot-stomping, pub-happy The Mighty Regis may be knocking at your door with a few beers in hand.