Enter The Haggis Gutter Anthems

Enter The Haggis Gutter Anthems
These Toronto, ON-based Celtic rockers are a serious success story south of the border. Signed to an American label and management and booking companies, they have built a very solid audience there via relentless touring. With the release of their seventh album, Enter The Haggis are seeking to increase their profile at home, and this highly accomplished work gives them an excellent shot. The presence of three singers and songwriters (Brian Buchanan, Trevor Lewington and Craig Downie) give them a greater stylistic range than many of their peers, while a brace of crisp instrumentals also mixes things up. There's plenty of Canadian content lyrically, from the true story of an East Coast fiddler ("The Death Of Johnny Mooring") to the Newfoundland setting of "Noseworthy And Piercy, " which brings Great Big Sea to mind. The populist declaration that "the gutter is the place where we will make our stand" is driven home with swirling bagpipes and massed vocals on the anthemic "The Litter And The Leaves," an album highlight. Three cuts that clock in at over six minutes could have used a little editing but ETH deserve credit for musical adventurousness. Fiddle, whistle and plenty of bagpipes are featured but the judicious use of cello, tablas, Fender Rhodes and Hammond C-3 show that Enter The Haggis are not slaves to tradition. (United For Opportunity)