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Unalike - 55%

OzzyApu, December 27th, 2010

Metallica has something like this, don’t they? A single and an EP, with an “e” added that, well, should have been on the original (I think). Irish English, English English, American English, it’s all jacked up, just like the tracklist to this EP. We get “Whisky In The Jar” (an adapted folk song), “Vagabonds Of The Western World” (a decent bluesy song), and “Sitamoia” (a percussion-heavy overture). This presents great variety since none of these songs sound anything alike aside from Lynott’s grainy yells. If I had to list between the three, then I’d pick “Whisky…” as the best and “Sitamoia” behind it, since it’s catchy and addictive, too. “Vagabonds…” is good, but it doesn’t stand out like these other two.

The production for all three is in the general is clear, warm, and not too pop-oriented. “Sitamoia” at first reminded me of Neurosis’ “Cleanse” (I know, not close to hard rock), but it builds up with Lynott’s fast delivery and the synth / string (thinking of the solo) / lead blaring a poignant melody. A very cool, overlooked track that is another one of those oddball songs Lynott pulled on the band every now and then. The solo is also exquisite and exotic, rivaling the majestic leads on “Whisky In The Jar”. The difference between the two is that Eric Bell, the guitar player on “Whisky…” is constantly on his best game; he didn’t even want to play heavier rock and he’s nailing the lead. It’s of course a catchy song, with hot atmosphere thanks to Lynott’s arid wailing, only making you thirsty for more.

“Vagabonds…” has Bell strutting with jumpy riffs and a twisty solo, too, but it isn’t on the same level as “Whisky…”. No, “Vagabonds” is more of a trance-induced wanderer’s tale with the fat bass, crashing kit, and Lynott’s possessed vocals. It’s like Phil took acid and kept going on and on about blue eyes with that somber tone stuck in his voice. The heat from Vagabonds… fits with the other two, and in the end “Vagabonds…” may be the heaviest track, but that’s within the boundaries of blues-ish rock.

Now I like these songs, but I’m not exactly sure if this EP was worth it. Maybe for those that missed out on “Whisky In The Jar” when it was first released in 1972 this is a great release, but other than that it doesn’t serve much purpose today. Pick up the right copy of Vagabonds Of The Western World and you’ll nab all three of these tracks. So just acknowledge this releases’ existence and go right to checking out the album.