Music, Print, Reviews October 19, 2020

Album Review: Stubby Shillelaghs – Glass To Mouth

by Nate Wilde

Combine the comic, acoustic, hard-rocking style of Tenacious D with traditional, hard-drinking Irish folk music, and you’ve got Northern Colorado’s The Stubby Shillelaghs.

The Stubbys’ forthcoming full-length LP Glass to Mouth will mark ten years of silly drinking songs and sea shanties, complete with impressive musicianship, humor, and similar to the aforementioned Tenacious D, well-placed profanity for added comedic value.

The album kicks off with the instrumental “Butter Up That Jig,” followed by “Buyer Beware,” a song where the lead vocalist self-deprecates, essentially declaring that he’s a substandard friend, romantic partner, and band member.

Perhaps the highlight of the album, the title track, is a rip-roaring Irish drinking song rife with double entendres. The chorus declares that “the only hope for me and my mates is to go to the pub and perform glass to mouth.”

Another example of The Stubby Shillelaghs poking fun at themselves for laughs is the head-bobbing “Shagnasty McHammerhands.” Essentially an ode to band member Shaughnessy McDaniel, the vocalists not only declare that he’s a force to be reckoned with, lyrically referring to how he snaps “strings like spinal cords,” but also insult him, saying he is “ten times worse than Satan.” Like many other tracks on the record it includes spoken dialogue, toeing the line of becoming an all-out comedy album. In this example, Mr. McHammerhands laments being confused as to why they’re saying such terrible things about him.

But nearly every tune on Glass to Mouth serves as a modern/classic Irish drinking song too, with rhythms that persuade listeners to instinctively grab a glass of beer and wave it back and forth to the beat.

Minus the accents, The Stubby Shillelaghs could easily be construed as straight out of Ireland. But the album closes with the autobiographical “Merry Bards of Metal,” which includes a line referring to the band’s home state of Colorado, a nod to the Irish tradition of homeland pride. All-in-all, Glass to Mouth is as good a jolly-olde-time as it is tongue-in-cheek.

Glass to Mouth by The Stubby Shillelaghs releases on digital platforms, CD and vinyl October 30. Support the band directly via their Patreon page by clicking here.