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Reel Music Advanced Review: Critical Fail-The Stubby Shillelaghs

| October 18, 2015

Critical FailThe Stubby Shillelaghs are back! On October 27th they unleash their 4th studio album and they come out strong. The Stubbies are known around Denver for their ruckus live shows at venues all around town and of course at Denver Comic-Con, but can they capture that in a studio album? And more importantly can a Nerd album in the style of Celtic Folk appeal to it’s targeted crowd? For the most part the band succeeds with only a couple of missteps. What they accomplish very well is a complete album, listening to Critical Fail from beginning to end is the best way to experience the album.

Critical Fail starts off with a sketch starring Darth Vader called Introducing The DIP, they Shillelaghs do this 5 times throughout the album, it reminds me of the Adam Sandler albums from the 90’s, music accompanied by silly sketches. Unfortunately most fall flat. I commend the band for trying something fun but the only one that I had a giggle at was the clever Redshirt Eulogy, a send up to the most thankless job on The Enterprise. The first song on Critical Fail is a fun Star Wars send up, I.R.A. The album really picks up on the third track, Reluctant Whovian. Reluctant Whovian is exactly how I feel about Dr. Who. The show is weird and I don’t get it but as the singer says, “…for you, I love Dr. Who.” No truer words could be said at Comic-Cons. The title track, Critical Fail, is for all those Dungeons and Dragon fans out there, and is mostly solid. The next song, Henchman Lament, is great. A James Bond parody, this song hits all the right notes. The album slips a little on the next few tracks, Keepers of The Mithril Hall, is followed by a sketch that halts the momentum of the album. Fortunately the boys come back really strong with the clever word play and catchy chorus of I’d Tap That. Critical Fail really starts to hum on the next track as well. The Firefly inspired Pour Me A Browncoat,  is right up the Stubbies alley. A drinking song that is fun and a chorus that I can see nerds singing while drunk after Comic-Con ends. It is one of the strongest songs on the album. After the sketch, The DIP Strikes Back, the boys show their sensitive side with the sweet and fun Nerd In Love. Next up is a song that anyone with the original NES will definitely get a kick out of, 8-Bit Hero. I found myself laughing at blowing on the cartridge to get the game to work, oh the good old days. Batman takes center stage in the ambitious Dark Knight Trilogy recap called Gotham’s Finest. My favorite song hands down is the reggae tinged Simpsons inspired Coming Up Milhouse. The Shillelaghs absolutely crush this song and it is fun to see them branch out musical styles and totally succeed. The album ends with a nice ditty for us fanboys called Lifelong Fan. But hold on! There is a bonus a track and it’s a good one. The Harry Potter themed Hufflepuff Gets Down, takes everyone’s punching bag house in Hogwarts and makes them the coolest place to party.

Critical Fail is a fun album from a super talented and fun band. The Stubby Shillelaghs capture the excitement of their live shows and serve it up on a nice hot nerd platter. You can find The Stubby Shillelaghs on Facebook and on Twitter. Make sure to get their new album, Critical Fail on October 27th.

Best Tracks: Reluctant Whovian, Henchman Lament, I’d Tap That, Pour Me a Browncoat, Nerd In Love, Coming Up Milhouse, Hufflepuff Gets Down

About the Author:

As far as nerds go, there are not many reeler than Ryan. His love for movies is unmatched. He also loves comic books. When you combine comic books and movies Ryan is at his happiest. He enjoys all forms of pop culture and prides himself on knowing more then average nerds. Ryan has a couple of characters he prefers over the rest, first and foremost is Spider-Man. He also loves Ash from the Evil Dead. Ryan also enjoys Finishing people in Mortal Kombat and hopping on Goombas. He has attended Comic-Con and several Starfests with his good buddy Brad. He is amazed on how awesome Brad is at designing Reel Nerds pages. But don’t tell Brad he needs to stay humbled. Favorite movie: Army Of Darkness Favorite Genres: Action, Horror, Comic Book, Comedy
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