Album Review: Carpe Scrotum by The Fooks
By: Juan Barragan
Local Irish-Rock band, The Fooks, recently released their first album, Carpe Scrotum. This band boasts of having won awards such as “Most Guinness consumed in one show,” as well as “Most requests for ‘Freebird’,” and “Most broken glass onstage.” With that in mind, one doesn’t know what to expect from this album before listening. Upon placing the album in the CD deck, the sounds of the Irish were truly heard.
The album itself is all covers and begins with a cover of The Dubliners’ “Whiskey in the Jar,” which is a traditional Irish song that was made famous by the metal legends, Metallica. The Fooks’ cover of the song is nothing like Metallica’s version, however. The Fooks take a very traditional approach to the song, keeping its pace upbeat and not sacrificing the Irish-ness behind the song. They even include the sounds of a fiddle, giving the song that Irish authenticity that it lost when Metallica claimed it for its own.
The band, knowing their fans are interested in all things Irish, included a song that touches on some Irish history. The song is “Black and Tans,” and it is traditionally an Irish rebel song that talks about their troubling relationship with the British forces at the turn of the 20th century. The term ‘black and tans’ refers to the uniforms that were worn by the British forces as they were sent in by the crown to Ireland to quash the nationalist rebellion. The Fooks include a spin on the lyrics in the last chorus of the song that echoes the frustration that the Irish experienced in that era. The customized line goes, “Oh come out you British C***s, come out and fight without your guns, show your wives how you won medals down in Flanders, Show them how the I.R.A., made you run like hell away, from the green and lovely lanes of Killeshandra.” The Fookers, which is the name the band used to baptize their fans, will undoubtedly have a very fun time listening to this tune. It’s also fast-paced and worthy of dancing to at a local Irish pub.
The next tune on the album is not for the faint of heart. By now, listeners should be dancing along to these tunes and should be warmed up for what’s to come. The song is “Shippin’ up to Boston,” and is a cover of the Celtic Punk band, Dropkick Murphys. Played live, this song has the potential to keep security on their toes, as was seen when Gallagher’s Irish Pub in Ocean Beach saw its first mosh pit break out when The Fooks played it on St. Patrick’s Day. And in case The Fookers still had some energy in them after dancing along to this song, the band follows this song with a wild version of “The Devil Went Down to Georgia.” Here, Scott Johnson’s fiddle techniques are put to the test as he tackles through an insane fiddle solo.
Altogether, the album is a good collection of upbeat covers that fans of Irish music can easily enjoy. It is strongly recommended to instead check out the band live, since that’s the only way to experience a good Fook-ing show, and is also the only way to get access to their newly released album. They go well with Guinness, and they like to spit out what they call their outlandish and belligerent banter while simultaneously abusing their livers on stage. They play a ton of free shows all around town, with the next ones being Friday, April 25 at The Field Irish Pub and Saturday, April 26 at The Blarney Stone Pub. Unfortunately for all the young Fookers out there who are too young to get into bars, the band plays mostly at adult establishments. In addition to these venues, the band also enjoys to play at people’s weddings, baptisms, and anywhere else they are offered free drinks. It will be interesting to see the band come out with original material in the near future. So far, it seems they have nailed down a solid set of covers. See you Fookers at the next show! Sláinte!