With bluegrass instrumentation tucked into the context of straight-up rock tunes, sing-along pop and They Might Be Giants-style goofenannies, the Clumsy Lovers' "raging bluegrass Celtic rock" is guaranteed to get your next party started right, whether it's in Dublin, Durham or Denver. Like the missing link between Bill Monroe and Bill Haley, Trevor Rogers, Chris Jonat and Gord Robert hold down the guitar, bass and drums of a typical rock band while Jason Homey and Andrea Lewis whip up hoedown hyperkinetics with banjo, mandolin and fiddle. Where Flogging Molly uses similar juxtapositions to create mosh-pit riots, the Lovers instead strive for the maladroit dance-floor accord that their name suggests. After years of touring and several self-released records, the Canadian quintet just released After the Flood, its first professionally produced album on Nettwerk. It's an awkward, affectionate, foggy-mountain o'shakedown -- and a helluva good time.
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