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CD Review: Further Adventures of the Saw Doctors

“The Further Adventures of the Saw Doctors” CD was almost fully recorded, but on one Monday morning, the band scrapped the work and started again.

“We were hard on ourselves,” band founder Leo Moran said. “It was worth it. When we listen to it in years to come, we don’t want to regret it.”

The band’s attention to quality is evident in this well-crafted seventh studio album. The Saw Doctors offer real Irish roots rock with their songs that portray the places and people of rural Ireland.

With its March 2012 U.S. release of “Further Adventures,” the Saw Doctors provide a mix of up-tempo rock tunes and ballads tinged with a darker tone than usual. Their songs suggest a bit of world weariness but with an underlying positive outlook.

“Takin’ the Train” solidly kicks off the album with its driving beat, fluid lead guitar and yearning to escape the city for the “green hills far away.”

Another strong rocker is “Hazard,” otherwise known as “The Country Is F**ked.” Reflecting on hard economic times and job losses, the lyrics capture a sense of loss but also of liberation. “Ties won’t matter. Files won’t matter… Days won’t matter… And me man, I’m back on the rock ’n’ roll.”

“Friday Town” is Moran’s favorite on the album for its sense of family. The song sings of lives come and gone and has a pleasing and reverential reciting of Irish haunts such as Cahernaheena, Cloonascragh and Beaghmore.

“Well Byes” is a fun, lively number with a 1960s vibe, while “Indian Summer” is a sweet ballad accompanied by a light touch on the guitar, cymbals, bass and vocals.

“As the Light Fades” brings a surf rock-meets-Springsteen sound and tells of the lives of regular folks in a small town.

“Further Adventures” offers 11 numbers and will please fans and fans-to-be with solid vocals and arrangements. The album is a true reflection of the band members themselves and their roots. In their own words, “You’ve got to be yourself. You can’t be anyone else.”

The Saw Doctors will perform on March 29 with special guest Nickel Slots at Ace of Spades, 1417 R Street. Doors open at 7 p.m.

 

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