Publication: The Boston Globe
Date Printed: Thursday, November 22, 1990
Section: Calandar
Page: 8
By: Jim Sullivan, Globe Staff

What else could follow an album called ''Peace & Love'' but one titled ''Hell's Ditch''? The two extremes are pretty compatible in the Pogues' romantic/coarse, punk/Irish traditonal world. The theme of this 13-track disc might be The Pogues Travel the World, Get Drunk, Have Lots of Misadventures and Live to Tell the Tale. Right away, on ''The Sunnyside of the Street,'' main singer-songwriter Shane MacGowan is dishing up tales of drunken excess and disgust, while still claiming that his walk on the wild side is just doing it his way. The melody is buoyant, exuberant. The sordid qualities set in soon with the title track, about prison rape, and ''Rain Street,'' an angry confessional plea. Once again, the Pogues live it up rough in the lyrics, and more positively in the music; occasionally, as in the sweet ''Summer in Siam'' all is really well. So, the disc isn't a total rant from the gutter MacGowan apparently loves stumbling into. But you wish he'd crawl out of it enough to observe more. Nevertheless, this remains a terrific, oddly uplifting, record.

Copyright 1990, The Boston Globe
All rights reserved

Your intrepid maintainer is DzM.