"This fine recording combines the first albums of Boiled In Lead originally released in 1985 and 1987 on their Minneapolis hometown lable DeSelby Productions. It was released on CD by Flying Fish Records in 1991. However, Flying Fish has since gone under so we're very lucky that this recording is still available. The album primarily focuses on traditional tunes, but folkies beware! Boiled in Lead love to twist genres, even cultures, into ecclectic refreshing arrangements. Ballads may be augmented with horn arrangements, dirges sometimes electrified with feedback, and reels are throroughly rocked out with surprisingly fresh results. This is a great introduction to an outstanding group of musicians who forge brave ground as they pass down wonderful tradition. With two great albums on one CD, its also a fine value."
bogubundus2 | Rochester, NY | 09/21/2003
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Excellent. Excellent. Excellent. What else can I say? Imagine a mixture of Horslips, Frank Zappa, Miles Davis, and early Tempest and you begin to approximate the Boiled in Lead sound. Boiled in Lead mixes numerous genres and styles of music, sometimes within the same song, without it ever sounding forced or like a confused mishmash of styles. There are Irish jigs and reels performed with rock-and-roll inensity, bluegrass (check out the hillbilly-hoedown version of 'Over Under Sideways Down'), occasional Frank-Zappa-style-odd-quirkiness ('French Tunes'), and even some Miles-Davis-style noisy saxophone noodling (Lovely Joan'). And don't forget the punk ('Gypsy Rover') or some Middle Eastern stylings (Arpad's Guz). Add in bass lines which range from hard-driving to bluegrass-style to polka-style, and you have quite an eclectic mix. These guys throw in everything but the kitchen sink and their use of saxophone in about 25% to 30% of their songs gives them a unique twist among groups in this genre. While saxophone is an odd choice of instrument for Irish jigs and reels, it surprisingly doesn't sound out of place here. The consistency of excellence among the songs is amazing; there are probably only 2 or 3 songs I don't care for out of the entire 24 song collection. Infinitely highly recommended for open-minded listeners who are looking for something beyond the same old generic folk-rock."
Michael Weber | Atlanta | 02/15/2000
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Boiled in Led's first two albums on a single CD. A great buy if only for the amount of music you get; if you like music on the fringes of the electric folk movement -- Black47 or the Pogues, for instance -- you need to give this set a try.My favourites:"Twa Corbies" -- one of the spookiest and most ominous versions of this trad murder ballad i have ever heard."House-Husband's Lament (Rockin' the Cradle)" -- the lament of a man who made a Great Mistake in love. Wry, twisted, and funny."Gypsy Rover" -- same song as the Clancy Bros' "Whistling Gypsy" -- but they'd never recognise it -- a screaming punked-out high-voltage version."Go Move Shift" -- a bitter and sardonic commentary on the way the homeless and jobless are all too often harried from place to place.(by Ralph McTell, i believe) These are the standouts -- but there isn't a really *bad* track on the album.Get it."
A category of their own
Paul LoveKing | Atlanta GA | 07/05/2002
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Boiled in lead is eclectic celtic punk electirc folk music. If you can imagine what that means without having heard it, you have more musical imagination than I do. If you have heard it, there's nothing I can tell you about it. If you haven't heard it, pull down the samples, and play them loud. There isn't a band like Boiled in Lead to compare them to, not really. They seem to be a love them or hate them sort of band, but it's hard to say who will do which."