Rum Sodomy & the Lash (Expanded Version)

Rum Sodomy & the Lash (Expanded Version)

The Pogues present the merging of the irrepressible punk rock spirit with the incorrigible might of the Irish drinking song: Joe Strummer meets Brendan Behan. From the rapid-fire delivery of the album’s opener, “The Sickbed of Cuchulainn,” to the shambling rhythms of “The Gentleman Soldier,” the Pogues’ second album is the blossoming of an awesome, idiosyncratic artistic talent. With Elvis Costello serving as producer and protectorate — ensuring the band’s spirit is captured in its full anarchic glee — the songs burst into Technicolor, adding Uileann pipes and fiddles to the group’s arsenal of banjo, mandolin and accordion. Singer Shane MacGowan’s songwriting was steadily improving (“A Pair of Brown Eyes,” “The Old Main Drag”), effectively evoking the feelings of age-old English, Irish and Australian folk songs. And credible covers of Ewan MacColl’s “Dirty Old Town” and Eric Bogle’s “And the Band Played Waltzing Matilda” proved them a group aware of their roots and history, yet irreverent enough to bring it to new life. This expanded reissue also includes the sublime 1986 EP Poguetry in Motion that features “London Girl” and “Rainy Night in Soho,” two of the group’s finest performances.

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