The Tossers Purgatory

[Thick; 2003]

Rating: 3.5/5

Styles: Irish folk-punk
Others: The Dropkick Murphys, The Pogues, Flogging Molly

Chicago's Tossers have been at the Irish folk-punk thing for some time, but they've finally gotten it right.  For a band that places itself rather intentionally in the shadow of the Pogues, it's hard to transcend novelty. Especially if you sing in a fake accent. But with the sprawling Purgatory, the Tossers manage to transcend their main influence and at this point are fairly lapping their main competition, Warped Tour poseurs Flogging Molly. Instrumental segments showcase the band's skill with traditional instruments, like the mandolin and tin whistle. And while singer Tony Duggins has a habit of trying to squeeze too many words into a lyrical line, the political bent of tracks like "Chicago" is moving and welcome.  "Monday Morning" is a joyous drinking song, while "Purgatory" is a slow dirge.  Though Purgatory does the Tossers the disservice of rendering their back catalog essentially unnecessary, there isn't any reason why the average 'Rum, Sodomy, & the Lash' or 'If I Should Fall from Grace with God' owner shouldn't pick this one up. Niche music, sure, but it could hardly be done better.

1. With the North Wind/Here We Go Again
2. The Ballad of the Thoughtful Rover
3. Nantucket Girls Song
4. Come Dancing
5. Caoin (Lament)
6. The Squall
7. Chicago
8. Monday Morning
9. First League Out from Land
10. Minutes on a Screen
11. Purgatory
12. Time to Go
13. Memory
14. Faraway
15. Ni Thabharfaidh Siad Pingin Duit
16. Going Away