Tossers Purgatory

Purgatory? Bollocks — the Tossers are hell-bound for sure. These Chicago Irish boys with a soft spot for the drink are doing more than merely keeping the Celtic spirit alive. Singer Tony Duggins has the genes of Irish poets and uses them to construct lyrical stories, sombre ballads and poignant tracts. The Tosser's unabashed political import is refreshing in a genre overrun by odes to bubbly beverages and working class Irish girls. In "The Squall," for instance, Duggins' defense of Middle Eastern immigration to the U.S. and his criticism of American foreign policy reads like a Billy Bragg-inspired Amnesty International speech yet surprisingly flies off the tongue like, well, a song about your favourite bubbly beverage. In "Chicago" Duggins takes on the condo-buying MTV yuppies that are eliminating affordable downtown housing. The pinnacle of the album is reached halfway through the song when mandolins and pennywhistles are exchanged for feedback and power chords and Duggins screams "They fuckin' gentrified my home!" Yep, hell for sure. (Thick)