Sometimes we, as humans, make decisions. Wrong decisions. Things that cannot be unseen, unheard. This, for me, was one such instance. Going through some recent acquisitions of upcoming albums from record and promo companies, I clicked “play” on the next one in line. The album in question is titled Brothers in Farms by Steve N Seagulls. The title (which I assume is a bit of a take on the Dire Straits classic) and the album art should have alluded to what I’d find if I’d paid a little more attention.
WTF? The first sounds heard were quite obviously the classic Iron Maiden rager “Aces High”, however, played with fiddles? This is just odd. Well, I guess on a positive note, the lyrics are 100% audible and clear. Which would solve any of those misinterpreted words when you sing along to yourself.
Metallica‘s “Sad But True” was next up for the foot-stomping, square-dancing fiddle treatment. It was around here that the penny dropped so to speak. These guys became an internet sensation with their finger-pickin’, washboard scrubbing, steel bucket drum, and fiddle version of AC/DC‘s “Thunderstruck” in a video that lit up social media.
Since becoming an overnight household word on the wings of that video, these Finnish farmers have done some massive touring. Playing 175 shows and touring in 20 countries and a dozen US states, Steve N Seagulls graced the stages of metal festivals like Wacken Open Air and Sweden Rock since their inception in 2014. This Brothers in Farms release is the second full-length album behind their debut titled Farm Machine.
Steve N Seagulls fiddle their way through classic songs such as “It’s a Long Way To The Top (If You Wanna Rock n Roll)” (AC/DC), “You Could Be Mine” (Guns N Roses), “In Bloom” (Nirvana), “Symphony of Destruction” (Megadeth), “Burn” (Deep Purple) and “Self Esteem” (The Offspring) among others.
When I was a young boy, I was a big fan of “Weird Al” Yankovic. I even have a couple of Me First and the Gimme Gimmes albums in my collection. The first Steve N Seagulls video of “Thunderstruck” was a fun novelty. But for me, the gig got old right there. While not without its charms, hearing the songs that shaped my life “hillbillified” in this manner just doesn’t sit right with me at all. I can imagine how absolutely hammered at a rock festival, this might be a rip-roaring hoot of a party to see in concert. Other than that it’s just painful to listen to.