Mathieu Audet (guitars, drums, keyboard, lead & back vocals)
Fred Vandal (bass, guitar, lead & back vocals)
Jérôme Bélanger (lead guitars)
Christian Haerinck (great highland bagpipes)
Dominic Haerinck (banjo, mandoline)
Andrée-Anne McHalley (lead & back vocals, keyboard, bass)
Sébastien Malenfant (drums, guitar, bass, lead & back vocals)
Hometown: Quebec City
Another remedy for a depressing day is Canada’s Irish Moutarde. Electric guitars and bagpipes really go hand in hand. Raise ‘Em All is the band’s exciting release to date. They pride themselves as influenced by Dropkick Murphys, Flogging Molly, The Real McKenzies, Great Big Sea, and Traditional-Irish folk music. What’s with the band title? Here’s a little trivia: The idea came from Jérôme’s brother, who proposed it as a pun on the French expression “relish-moutarde.” When the name was proposed to other Eerie(their former band) members, the favorable decision was again unanimous.They liked the name for two reasons: it said something about the band’s musical style, and it was both humorous and light.
This is true with what I discovered after listening to the entire album. It’s a loud, melodic and exciting collection which promises to keep you awake with good tunes. This happens to be their debut album after forming together in 2009. Elements of ska, punk, alternative rock and folk are showcased in all tracks. Yes I keep dancing while listening to this album because the driving rhythm is really irresistible. Andrée-Anne Hallé has a good strong voice that shows flexibility. What I also noticed is the band’s use of vocal harmonies. My favorite track happens to be I Heard Jesus Was. You have to find out why.
There are also reflective ballads in the midst of the energetic tunes. For instance, Glasses to the Sky shows that Irish Moutarde can also break your hearts with their nuance. I think Olaf is a great driving or running tune. It has that soaring high energy. I love the drums! LLL is an instrumental focusing on the bagpipes. It starts with a slow mournful pace only to explode in the middle and end with a satisfying sonic richness.
The Fields of Athenry is their beautiful tribute to an Irish classic. I like the simplicity of just emphasizing on the male and female voice, the guitar and then occasional drums. The Wearing of the Green makes me want to get up and kick the chairs. It is such a fine tune. A Lad and a Hag ends the album with a nice ska- influenced rhythm. I think with this approach to music, the band will really create successful live shows and win more fans in the process. I think they already did. They are big in Canada. Raise ‘Em All is composed of tunes that are both good live and on record! Check them out and feel the energy.
Tune in to www.radio-happy.com this Saturday 4pm German time (10 am in Ontario) because I will be playing their song The Black Mill. A podcast of my radio show will be available a day or two after the show.