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The Tossers, ‘Agony’ (Victory)

Most punks who try to pick up where the Pogues keeled over get the drunken madness right, but not the romance. Not so with the Tossers, a seven-piece band from Chicago’s Irish Southside who once backed up Pogue Spider Stacy. Singer/mandolin player Tony Duggins writes gorgeous whiskey weepers filled with fiddle, banjo, and tin whistle, while his slurry croon recalls Shane MacGowan’s more intelligible days. That’s not to say the Tossers can’t throw a mad party. Kickoff track “Never Enough” bemoans a lack of alcohol and drugs, and “Traps and Ultimatums” finds Duggins dressing down a lover for asking him not to go out boozing. A pair of political tunes seem out of place, but it’s nothing that another shot of Jameson won’t fix.

Now Hear This: The Tossers – “Siobhan” DOWNLOAD MP3