The title track or "Drinking in the Graveyard" are the sort of
Celtic-tinged pint-raisers fans have come to expect form this Celtic rock
group which serves up a heady brew of topical numbers from the moving
"Trains Not Taken" to the breaking-out-of-jail fiddle on "Rainville",
which paints a wild slide-show of their hometown.
Throughout the Town Pants seem to raise the bar (pardon the pun) on the
Celtic rock oeuvre. The somber "Angel" and steam-of-unconsciousness
thunder of "Death Feels Like Me" sit well on Shore Leave, with "Coming
Home" being perhaps the only true ballad of the record. Both lyrically and
musically, these are not plain old Whiskey and street songs. The bands
imagination obviously running much deeper than the genre's normal fare, as
with the group's tip of the hat to the fatal wild-man British actor on "The
Unlikely Redemption of Oliver Reed".
Recorded in Vancouver in 2009, and featuring a few guest appearances from
Spirit of the West's Geoffrey Kelly and ex 54-40 keys-man David Osborne
who lends a Blue Rodeo-esque Hammond organ to the recording. The Town
Pants have never sounded both wilder and more mature.
From "Rasputin" on their previous live album, The group pulls a 180 degree
turn with considerable elan with Shore Leave finishing off with an
Appalachian-metal cover of Iron Maiden's "Run to the Hills" that really
scores, showing that the lads haven't taken themselves too seriously. Yet.