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"Bottoms Up!"

Amadan is probably responsible for more quaffed pints of Guinness and shots of Jameson than any other band in Portland. Its blend of traditional Irish fiddling and fluting, like that of the Dropkick Murphys and the Pogues before it (though Amadan is neither as aggressive nor lewd) is catchy enough to send anybody—Irish or nay—into a violent jig. Blended with a grimy dose of power-chorded punk are forays into traditional marches and folky interludes, punctuated by intense drumming and snarly vocals. Bottoms up!

AP KRYZA - Willamette Week

"A New Crop"

The Dropkick Murphys have accepted the torch from the on-again, off-again Pogues and plowed ahead, bringing their hybridized shamrock-core to the masses. Wearing their own influences on their sleeves, the Murphys have extended that influence to a new crop, including Portland’s own fiddlin’ and fightin’ Amadan.

AP KRYZA - Willamette Week

"Is the word masterpiece too much?"

I have been listening to Amadan for roughly 6-7 years now. In those 6-7 years, I have seen Amadan progress from a traditional cover band into something way beyond this genre we call Celt-Punk, and I must say, it's like a breath of fresh air. Not that there's anything wrong with hearing random traditional songs done by numerous folk-punk bands, but it was time to push it a bit further, and in my opinion, Amadan's "Pacifica" has done just that.

At a recent footy match, I ran into Eric Tonsfeldt (Songwriter/Guitarist/Vocalist). He told me Amadan had an album release party the next night in Eugene, Oregon and invited me to go. (I obviously was in on that road trip!) Just so you know, Eugene is about 100 miles away, and the drive provides a perfect opportunity to listen to a new album or two. So there I was, spontaneously reviewing an album as the principal songwriter provided details about the album as we drove toward a record release party. (That has to be a S'n'O first! )

Upon first listen, the music is beyond any comparison. Nothing, and I mean nothing else sounds like their new album. If you have heard "Hellbent", then you may be on the right track, but you're still not even close. As I have previously mentioned, "Pacifica" is not a folk-punk album, it's way beyond that.

Considering the vast amount of musical space "Pacifica" covers. I will try to provide a track by track itinerary. We start out with "The Old North End" It's a rockin' little ode to Portland's seedy Old Town. Google Shanghai tunnels for a more detailed account, after a few spins, you'll be singing right along.
With "Anchor Tattoo" it gets even faster, and in a nutshell could almost describe the sound of the band, (Well almost.) If your foot isn't tapping to this little ditty, you should seek medical attention.
"Not Your Man" is more or less the audio form of bible-thumping repellent. Fantastic lyrics, & amazing musicianship. We reflect on certain people of our past In "Used To Know" and speaking of people from our past, you need to take a listen to the next track, "Serenity" (Quite possibly, my favorite track on the album.)
The 1-2-3 punch of "Pishi", "Coming Home" & "Mescaline" will simply blow you out of the water. This manic medley starts out as an instrumental, peaks in the middle, and suddenly breaks down back to level ground. If you're looking for some orchestrated mayhem check out this trifecta. Up next, it's the old standard "The Leaving Of Liverpool" done Amadan style. This song originally appeared on their first album/demo "Sons Of Liberty" but this version is better, way better!
Up next is "Damn This!" Someone sounds a little cynical and needs another beer... Speaking of good times, the next track is "Devil In The Kitchen" and if you thought Ashley MacIsaac annihilated this traditional song, you need to hear fellow Canadian, Naoyuki Ochiai's blistering version. The fiddle playing is so god-damned fast, I partially blame Amadan for global warming. On a serious note, the album ends with "Devolution Now" A much needed rant towards religious oppression. A rant worth mentioning. A rant worth listening to. And an album worth every penny.

Barnacle Brian -

"Amadan Evolves on New Disc"

The album’s first four tracks, “The Old North End,” “Anchor Tattoo,” “Not Your Man” and “Used to Know,” energetically recall the familiar hard-drinking lyrics and growling vocals the band’s rowdy audiences love, while revealing the thread of each instrument much more distinctly.

Along about track five, which is misleadingly titled “Serenity,” the more mature studio sound emerges as guitar, drum and banjo threads are combined one after another. The beat isn’t serene (and without liner notes in my preview copy I couldn’t exactly determine what the title is intended to signify), but Bauer’s banjo and Ochiai’s fiddle spill forth with a clarity uncommon in early hard-rocking Amadan songs, bringing this song to a newly orchestral finish.

With track six, the album amps up to a completely fresh level. The song is called “Pishi,” which defines as “amazing, beautiful, flawless, wondrous,” and if this isn’t what the band means with that title, it ought to be. A three-and-a-half minute instrumental showcase of everything the band plays, including the spoons, “Pishi” builds to a frenzied fiddle crescendo that, just when you think Ochiai might spontaneously combust, instantly segues into the next track, “Coming Home,” which adds vocals to the driving fiddle and rapid-fire percussion.

“Mescaline” follows, with a cheerfully altered vocal track, shouted-back chorus, and intricately competing guitar picking and fiddling.

After returning to the thumping beat and defiant lyrics of Celtic-punk territory with “Leaving of Liverpool” and “Damn This!” the band offers the brief instrumental “Devil in the Kitchen” before launching headlong into something completely unexpected.

“Devolution Now” offers a thrumming drum and guitar beat deliberately underscored by an indistinctly audible vocal track from which certain buzz words emerge, such as society, religious fundamentalism, mass media, biological entities, ideas of the eternal and personal choice, evoking a maelstrom of issues along with a melody both driving and plaintive.

Pat Amacher - Corvallis Gazette Times

"Fighting Irish"

For the past decade, Amadan has been PDX’s answer to the Pogues, offering a kinetic hybrid of rock laced with Chad Marks’ Celtic-style fife and fiddle work. Distorted and rife with tales of drinkin’ and fightin’—but not without its moments of complex instrumental maturity—the band continues to evolve, making the masses swing pints of the black stuff all over bar floors with the kind of abandon that makes you wish it were St. Paddy’s every day.

AP KRYZA - Willamette Week

"Amadan has done what few accomplish"

Three fan deep rows pressed against the bar snapping to plead for the many 'tenders attention. Amadan has done what few bands accomplish in Corvallis. They have pulled hundreds of normally reluctant Corvallis asses off their couches and into the beat. -

"This isn't your Grandpappy's Irish Band"

They take Celtic dance music and load it up with guitar riffs and burly vocals, inciting beer guzzling, jig dancing, and general tomfoolery. This isn't your Grandpappy's Irish band.

KS - Portland Mercury

"Amadan has created a sound all its own"

“Pacifica” allows Amadan to continue to embrace broader world music influences that go beyond the Celtic punk core...In a genre where it can be difficult to tell one band’s sound from another, Amadan has created a sound all its own here.

Erin Bell
Rating: 4/5 -

"Pacifica Review"

The interaction between the instruments is what really shines. Banjos and didgeridoos weave in and out of fiddles and distorted guitars to create interesting tableaux, making for something unique but still familiar and comforting.

Ty Trumbull -

"Pacifica Review"

One of the most pleasant surprises to reach these ears in some time, Portland, OR's AMADAN is a Celtic-fueled punk band that combines all sorts of world music influences with the accessibility of THE CLASH, the irreverence of THE POGUES and the insight of that liberal professor from college that you liked so much.

Rating: 3.5/5 -


Pacifica: 2007
Hell Bent 4 Victory: 2004
Sons of Liberty: 2002



For more than nine years, Amadan has cut its teeth on the clubs, bars, stages, and highways of the Pacific Northwest. In the blue-collar tradition of other regional celtic- and folk-inspired rock acts, Amadan spent five years filling a heavy ~100-gig-per-year schedule with music and cultural festival appearances, college campus events, and the obvious staple: three- to four-hour, high-energy house gigs in various pubs throughout Washington, Oregon, Idaho, and Montana. Amadan swiftly developed a reputation for raucous, energetic, beer-swilling, punk-inspired shows. Filling those time slots with Gaelic traditionals, American folk tunes, and punk rock covers gave the Amadan players the sustainable energy and cohesive trad and rock chops to churn out a number of developed original songs.

Amadan’s second full-length record, 2004’s “Hell-Bent 4 Victory!,” represented a culmination of those strengths and efforts and an earmark from which the musicians could grow. Amadan filled the next three years honing performance at an increasing number of festival and rock performances on bills with bands ranging from the Clumsy Lovers to The Supersuckers and Eek-A-Mouse to Pepper. During the same period, members Eric Tonsfeldt and Kevin Pardew wrote, arranged, and, ultimately, co-produced the record that became 2007’s “Pacifica.”

Seeking to break the molds of traditional music, punk rock, and live performance with their intricate and fast-paced three-hour rock shows and searing musicianship, their third full-length album betrays a sound that is both post-punk and post-celtic in composition, feel, and influence and post-barroom in energy level and maturity. This is world music from the picket lines and the surface streets, and rock and roll from life’s daily struggles and rewards. This is music for the revolution. This is Amadan.