The Dreadnoughts Polka's Not Dead

To say the least, the Dreadnoughts are a complete racket, as the Vancouver, BC natives blend rough-around-the-edges street punk with polka beats and a bevy of Irish folk instrumentation, creating a chaotic vein of Celtic punk that surpasses the traditional style heavyweights like Flogging Molly and the Real McKenzies have generalized. Like the aforementioned acts, the Dreadnoughts' Scottish ancestry, punk roots and alcohol consumption are all points of great pride, illustrated during the furious opening of "Cider Road," before branching off into a barrage of fiddles, accordion and "oom-pah" rhythms. But the Dreadnoughts aren't dependent on their instruments, as an a cappella version of sea shantie "Randy Dandy-O" sounds just as suitable amongst the accompanying tracks on Polka's Not Dead. Folkloristic music still has the staying power to be the life of the party, but the Dreadnoughts are doing us all a favour by giving it just a little kick in the ass. (Union)