Release Date: Mar 1, 2011
Record label: Dropkick Murphys
Genre(s): Pop/Rock, Punk/New Wave
Click to listen to the Dropkick Murphys' "Memorial Day" "No mercy, no quarter," bellow the Dropkick Murphys in the raucous opener of their seventh album, a phrase that sums up their philosophy of music (and drinking). The Boston Irish-punk septet never met a shout-along chorus they didn't want to crash into, with a bagpipe tooting along for an extra shot of old-world poignancy. Going Out in Style, a theme album about a fictional Irish-American named Cornelius Larkin, veers into tears-in-your-pint sentimentality on ballads like "1953." But reservations disappear at the sound of full-fathom burner "Peg o' My Heart," a sweet, boozy love song with guest vocals by another guy who takes no quarter: Bruce Springsteen.
While pop/rock's pantheon of concept characters is topped by incredible and outlandish characters like Ziggy Stardust and Tommy, the truth is that Cornelius Larkin -- war veteran, working-class hero, and the fictional centerpiece of Dropkick Murphys' seventh studio album, Going Out in Style -- would likely outfight and outdrink them. A concept album, the record tells the story of the life, love, and death of a rough-and-tumble Irish immigrant, even going so far as to include an obituary in the liner notes. Musically, the album doesn’t stray far from the sound the band has developed over the years, which definitely isn’t a bad thing.
Quick: Think of the Dropkick Murphys. What comes to mind? Green beer, Boston sports, punk kids in plaid flannel. These things are all givens, but when we think of the Dropkick Murphys, most of us also think, inevitably, of a party. And not just any party, but one enormous, sweet, probably illegal shindig taking place, beer flowing onto the floor, ladies dancing on tabletops, gentlemen slumping forward in their seats as the night wears on.
If you like Dropkick Murphys, you’re going to like Going Out in Style. Everything that you’ve grown to know and love over the years from the Celtic punk band is present on this latest installment – there are bagpipes, mandolins, banjos, accordions, tin whistles, and all the gang vocals you could pack into one album. No, you won’t find anything particularly new or groundbreaking on Going Out in Style, but you will find a band who has been continually honing in on their own sound over the course of the past decade-and-a-half and sounds as comfortable and well-rounded in their own element as anyone else in the punk scene.