To absorb Rum, Sodomy, & the Lash is to be taken on a wild voyage with a cast of downtrodden revolutionaries. Despite this notion, the epic themes of the Pogues' second full length record have been overlooked by both critics and biographers in favor of two things: the band's penchant for combining Celtic folk with punk rhythms ("the sound") and the excesses of Shane MacGowan ("the creator"). Instead of reiterating these aspects, this book discusses, in the form of a sea-faring narrative, the record's articulation of what it is found to be magnificently trodden. Through epic imagery gracing the cover of the album and reverberating throughout the lyrics, Roesgen's book shows that what the Pogues created is far more than pub-room music created by drunken men wallowing in Irish nostalgia and pining for something subversive.
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