Not quite Riverdance
and not quite the Dropkick Murphys, the Prodigals hoist a pint from the hallowed middle ground of Irish-crossover sensations. It's shtick you're probably familiar with: standard pop tunes gussied up with fiddles, accordions, jig-worthy rhythms, and artfully placed lyrical references to pints and football matches and dudes named "Paddy." Chipper Irish accent? Oh yes. Ignore anyone who tries to label this "jig-punk": The 12 tunes on the N.Y.C. quartet's third record, Dreaming in Hell's Kitchen
, are boppy and infectious, but largely edgeless -- lest you count the surprisingly busy jazzbo bass-drums action. Be they "Screw my troubles, I'll have a Guinness" anthems ("Happy Man") or "Screw society, I'll kill someone and land on Death Row" laments ("Jackie Hall"), the songs work OK, though the live energy/ boozed-up crowd factor probably makes this a much safer bet live. A few rounds with these stylishly giddy dudes, and you might not even notice that Guinness tastes like moose piss.