This 1996 debut by the Greenland Whalefishers was one of the more impressive releases by the multitude of '90s Pogues-influenced groups. In fact, of all the Shane MacGowan wannabes, Arvid Grov is the most convincing. Not only does Grov's voice resemble MacGowan's in an uncanny manner, his exceptional songwriting is nearly the equal of his mentor. And Grov penned most of the songs on this album. He is accompanied by a lineup of musicians that also understand the spirit of the Pogues' music -- Gunnar Grov on mandolin and banjo, Agnes Skollevoll on tin whistle and harmonica, and the punkish/hillbilly rhythm section of drummer Frond Eikemo and bassist Tommy Bardsen. This is a uniquely strong first effort from start to finish with no obvious filler. The only drawback associated with The Mainstreet Sword is that it was released on an independent label in a relatively small country; hence, widespread publicity eluded this release.
Share this page
AllMusic Review by Dave Sleger