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Wednesday, August 3, 2011

The Dunn Boys - Volume 1

The Dunn Boys - Volume 1
2011, The Dunn Boys

The Dunn Boys are a family band from Peterborough, Ontario, Canada.  Started by Paul Dunn and his sons Jason, Josiah and Jacob, rumor has it the Dunn Boys started a hockey team and a band broke out in the confusion.  Blending Celtic, folk, rock and punk with spiritual themes, The Dunn Boys seem to be on to a winning combination of style and sound.  Their debut EP, Volume 1, sets the stage for bigger things to come. 

The Dunn Boys represent the East Coast of Canada well on their debut album, Volume 1.  Kicking off with the snippet "Mullac Abu", The Dunn Boys move quickly into the raucous party song "Nova Scotia".  "Brian Moore" is an energetic tribute; a toasting song that is entertaining and fun.  "Ballad Of Danny Fitzgerald" has a fairy tale feel, an old school love song where things work out well in the end.  "St. Jerome" is an urgent and energetic prayer for survival at sea with a vaguely haunting quality.  "Norland" finds The Dunn Boys employing some of Celtic-punk oomph of Captain Tractor, while cannibalizing the melody of "It's A Long Way To Tipperary" for the chorus.  Lead singer Jason Dunn shines here for both vocal acumen and attitude.    "Rosaline" is the second highlight of the album, a heartfelt and sincere love song with a melody you won't be able to shake.  "Black Velvet Band" is the story of how a woman and drink lead to Van Diemen's Land.  It's the sort of shanty sung to both make the work pass and remind young sailors to not get too tied down on shore leave.  Volume 1 closes with the gorgeous and lilting "Lullaby", the brightest moment on the album and an indication that within the heart of these warrior poets beats the heart of true songwriters.

The Dunn Boys impress on Volume 1, although it may take a few listens to really get the vibe.  These guys slowly grow on you; their music opening to you on successive listens like a flower slowly unwrapping in the sun.  Volume 1 should be the first of many, as The Dunn Boys find their balance between raucous fun and outstanding songwriting.

Rating: 3.5 Stars (Out of 5)

Learn more about The Dunn Boys on MySpace and FacebookVolume 1 is available digitally from or iTunes.

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