The Real McKenzies

Oot & Aboot

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In theory, it seems Vancouver's irrepressibly goofy the Real McKenzies have set out to do for Scottish folk what the Pogues did for Irish folk: give a cheerful boot up the ol' arse. In reality, they sound closer to the ultra-gimmicky one-hit wonders Tenpole Tudor: three-chord bubblegum-punk that occasionally throws in a set of bagpipes or essays a traditional tune for color. This is not necessarily a bad thing, because the Real McKenzies deliver the goods with unpretentious charm and a refreshing sense of humor on Oot & Aboot. Sly, sassy songs like "Cross the Ocean" and "Shit Outta Luck" hit the same pleasure centers as the goofier songs on the mid-period Replacements songs ("Gary's Got a Boner" or "I Don't Know," for example). So it's not really all that folksy, except for the surprisingly trad closing instrumental, "Taylor Made," but it's fun.

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