About The System
We take our album reviews very seriously here at Irish Punk. We use a 1-5 star rating system. The content that is reviewed is broken up into three categories, each being awarded it’s own star. A final star rating is given at the end for an over all score. Of course, you’ll have to read the full review to get the proper context. When doing a review, we typically break down each individual song by asking questions about a number of different elements.
Questions We Ask
Lyrics – Do the lyrics say anything of value, or is the artist just trying to rhyme for the sake of rhyming? Will a particular song give you chills, or be energetic? Or will you take nothing away from listening to the tracks?
Musicianship – Do the instrumentals sound solid? How is the Production quality?
Originality – Is it a themed album? Are there any covers? Is the album thought provoking, or music you just want to blast in a sports bar?
Replay Value – Will it stay in your CD changer, or will you be finished with it after several listens?
Bang for your buck – Should you shell out cash for the vinyl version, or just buy a couple MP3s off iTunes?
Fan Base – Will it please fans of the genre, all music lovers, or only hard-core fans of the band?
What The Numbers Mean
One being the worst and Five being the best.
1. Atrocious: Very bad. Minimal or no effort put into the songs with non coherent lyrics, and terrible musicianship.
2. Poor: The albums flaws greatly outweigh any positives. Such as a good song or two.
3. Good: Albums with a number of good qualities, worth buying. However it might not be for everyone.
4. Great: A strong album that you would have trouble trying to nitpick. Fans will love it, and first time listeners will likely not listen to anything else for the next few weeks. Recommended for everyone.
5. Excellent: A rating so rare, we’ve only given it out every few years. Albums that scored 5 will prove to stand the test of time. As close to perfect as you can possibly get.
If the album you’re submitting for review is not in English, please provide us with the lyrics in the native language it was written in.
Transparency and ethics is something we take very seriously here at Irish Punk. We have a strong commitment to providing our readers with factual and objective coverage and reviews. Our guidelines are as follows:
Our source of revenue comes strictly from advertisements, and purchases made from referral links. We do not accept donations, or panhandle. We will not accept money for coverage or do paid review from labels, PR firms or bands, be it favorable or unfavorable. Nor will we promote albums that are in the process of being funded via crowd-sourcing sites such as Kickstarter.
Review Copies and Swag
We do accept review copies of music from bands or PR firms. We will often receive other promotional items such as stickers, buttons, and other merchandise that one would receive at trade shows. These items are used for promotional reasons, or in some cases giveaways.
Conflicts of Interest
All of our reviews and coverage is made strictly from an objective point of view. No one on our writing staff may have a personal relationship with the bands or organizations that we cover. Our writers cannot review an album or product they have financial ties to, this includes crowd-sourcing projects, unless the payment was made after the goal had been met. Even then full disclosure is required.
We are not trying to be musical elitist, but rather trying to give you the best idea on how good we think the content is you are potentially purchasing. One thing we don’t want to do is to just write a review saying something such as: “Yo bro this album rocks you should definitely check it out!” That’s not fair to the fans, and it’s certainly not fair to the artist.
Our philosophy is to put out quality reviews with a high standard. We try to avoid merely writing a synopsis without giving a valid argument on why an album rocks, or falls flat. Each album is judged on its own merits in the time in which it is produced. We understand that music is highly subjective. We can’t fathom how someone out there could dislike the album “If I should Fall From Grace With God.” As crazy as it sounds, there’s likely a Pogues fan out there that hates it. But we feel that albums we rate 4 stars or higher is something that everyone can enjoy.
Frequently Asked Questions
Do you only review Celtic Punk music?
No. We also review Irish Rock, Folk, Bluegrass and more from Irish artist or musicians with a Celtic sound.
When will my review be posted?
Normally within two weeks or less. We will email it to you before we publish it, the following day.
Do you post negative reviews?
Music is incredibly subjective, unless an album is absolutely terrible, we will not rip it to shreds. However, we will give insightful and constructive criticism if need be.
What if the reviewer misunderstood the meaning of a song, has grammar and spelling errors, or I just don’t like my review?
We will take another look at it and make any corrections needed to the article.