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ClassicsOnline Home » SCOTLAND Saor Patrol: Two Headed Dog
The disc’s back panel card suggests filing under "Heavy Metal" or "Hard Rock". It’s an astute suggestion or, as a Scot might put it, a canny one. The release does blend the scream and crash of a bagpipe and drum ensemble with the scream and crash of an amplified rock band. Think "Plaid Sabbath". There may be no sound more chilling, more stirring, to ears of Western European descent than that of Scottish bagpipes. That is, unless those ears are relatively young and more exposed to hugely electric heavy metal rock bands. Those sounds are the “two heads of the dog” on this release by innovative instrumental quintet, "Saor" [pronounced "shore"] Patrol.
A complementary, more guitar rock-oriented release to the band's Duncarron CD, this is a fun one. Badholly is a bagpipe Bo Diddley number, an odd thing to imagine until one thinks of the big drum sound that traditionally begins that blues rock standard. Chamalihitchin, a simple and somewhat solemn wedding march on Duncarron, becomes a bit more fun and even romantic courtesy of the guitar on "Two Headed Dog".
In an uncharacteristically shortsighted moment, medieval Scots trying to decided among eleven contenders for the nation's throne asked the English king to choose. Edward II chose, for the benefit of England and Scotland's woe, the weakest character among them, John of Balliol. "A Balliol", sadly noted a chronicler of that day, was ever a weak reed to lean upon, and Scotland found a stronger in Robert the Bruce, bloodily ridding itself of Balliol at the first opportunity. Toom Tabard, meaning "empty shirt", a nickname for the substance-lacking Balliol, uses the strong reed of Charlie Allen's bagpipes and the equally weighty sound of Steve Legget's electric guitar to effectively express the negative memories of the Scottish nation about this incident.
O'Rourke interestingly allows the instruments to challenge one another, with lead and rhythm duties traded off several times and very strong roles for the drums in both. All in all a highly recommended, "keeper" release to which one will return again and again.more....
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SCOTLAND Saor Patrol: Two Headed Dog