Nancy McCallion
& the Mollys,
(self-produced, 2003)

The band styles itself as a cross between the Pogues and Los Lobos, but in fact I find little comparison. They have a certain attitude that might give an impression of Shane McGowan, but this is a female voice with a message, rather than raw verve. The songs are very enjoyable and, to add to the listening pleasure, there is true meaning in the lyrics.

Nancy McCallion's composition, "Put the Baby in the Shopping Cart" is an excellent example. This is what I love a song that tells a tale and grabs your attention from the first line. Another of my favourite tracks is the upbeat "You Could Learn My Ways." The beat and backing is a joy to hear.

McCallion shows her poetic streak with the beautiful 'I'm Not Around for You Anymore." A certain Celtic root shows through on "Mother Mother," but it is mixed into a blues and old-style rendition that adds a haunting feel to the first verses. The musical bridge after these is excellent before returning to some thoughtful lyrics.

My top track is the one where McCallion duets with Danny Krieger on 'This is My Round." Although different in sentiment and delivery, it reminds me very much of Shane McGowan and Kirsty McColl on "Fairytale of New York." In fact, with airplay and a few breaks, this track has the same potential. It is a love tale of 21st-century music.

Overall, the 11 tracks here are very well written and performed. I imagine that a studio CD does not do full justice to the band. I can even imagine some of these tracks taking on new life and tempo in a live performance.

If you like your songs with grit and emotion get your hands on this CD.

- Rambles
written by Nicky Rossiter
published 4 October 2003

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