Ashley MacIsaac, Pride

Colin Irwin

By Colin Irwin

on 04.22.11 in Reviews
A down ‘n’ dirty collection of grunge-by-way-of-Nova-Scotia that will leave you feeling pleasantly grubby.

From the remote Scots music stronghold of Nova Scotia, Canada, the flamboyant Ashley MacIsaac stomped out of the blocks in the early '90s to put several large explosives under the region's pure traditional style with his rampaging fiddle and devil-may-care attitude. He's upset some by manhandling the beautiful Cape Breton sound that's enjoyed an undiluted history since Scots emigrants landed in Nova Scotia in the late 1700s, but there's never a dull moment when MacIsaac's around, especially during his fearless forays into heavy metal, garage, punk and Celtic rock. His catalogue is erratic, but this grunge fest — including growly vocals and some down 'n 'dirty songs that leave you feeling pleasantly grubby — is better than it first appears. Sleazy tracks like "Bitch," "Nights Wasted Away," "Revolution" and "Sick of Rock 'n 'Roll" are darkly captivating, assaulting you with glowering guitars and jagged rhythms, with nary a fiddle in sight.