TOSSERS - The Valley Of The Shadow Of Death

Tossers - The Valley Of The Shadow Of Death

12 songs
50:05 minutes
***** ***


The Tossers come from Chicago, a place that is known for its huge Irish Catholic community and got their name from a Shakespeare expression meaning 'drunks'. They play their music as if they were back home in an Irish pub.

The Tossers were formed in 1993, making The Valley Of The Shadow Of Death their fifth album, but their debut for Victory Records, a label more known for hardcore, melodic punk and emo. The label may make you think that the Tossers have a lot in common with bands like the Dropkick Murphy's, the Real McKenzies or Flogging Molly who play punk with a Celtic touch. But the Tossers are a pure folk band that combines regular rock instruments (guitar, bass, drums) with traditional ones (mandolin, tin whistle, violin, banjo). The music has more balls than what you know from the Pogues or the Levellers. Timeless Irish music is powered up with rock'n'roll, country and even some punk.

Listening to The Valley Of The Shadow Of Death never gets boring because the Tossers have many different faces. The first two songs Goodmornin' Da and A Criminal Of Me are played at quite an astonishing speed. Slower and ballad like songs are No Loot, No Booze, No Fun and Drinking In The Day. The Crook Of Gold is a very dark tune. My favourite track is Go Down Witch Down as it sounds like the Dead Kennedys during their non-existent Celtic phase.

It seems as if the Tossers have done everything right on their new CD. There will only be few persons who will find the music either too hard or too mellow. I have not been the biggest Irish folk fan and I doubt that it will change in future, but The Valley Of The Shadow Of Death is without a doubt a highlight of that genre.

Back to Reviews