Release Date: Jan 8, 2013
Record label: Dropkick Murphys
Genre(s): Pop/Rock, Alternative/Indie Rock, Punk Revival, Celtic Rock
The past few months have been great for belligerent Irish guys: Joe Biden is still vice president, Notre Dame football had its best season in decades, and now we get a new LP from these Boston bruisers. The last one was a concept album about a fictional Irish-American; this one may be their most devil-may-care, mixing hardcore blitz, Pogues instrumentation and Thin Lizzy swing. It works best if you party at bars with names like Paddy O'Mcskullsmashies, but you don't have to be Irish to love the dysfunctional family Xmas anthem "The Season's Upon Us": "My sisters are wack jobs/I wish I had none/Their husbands are losers/And so are their sons." .
New one from the Dropkicks? Yeah, we approve... If last time the ‘Murphys were ‘Going Out In Style’, here they’re coming back with a vengeance. Instant classic ‘The Boys Are Back’ confirms this, opening another full-length of beer-soaked fight songs and nostalgic ditties of the big dreams and hardships of the working, drinking man. There are tales of regretted tattoos, baseball, and a dysfunctional Christmas, but it’s no ‘Fairytale Of New York’ – “My nephew is a little twit / Once gave me a gift-wrapped box full of shit” is as sentimental as it gets.
After dabbling in a more narrative style with their 2011 concept album Going Out in Style, Dropkick Murphys get back to their raucous roots on their eighth album, Signed and Sealed in Blood. Blazing their way through 12 tracks of ripping Celtic punk, Dropkick Murphys are still partying on after all these years with songs that feel as though they should be listened to while drunkenly singing with a bar full of like-minded, and likewise intoxicated, friends. What's really stirring about Dropkick Murphys after all this time is that their music isn't so much a celebration of being Irish, but a celebration of celebrating.
Review Summary: The boys are back with an acceptable addition to their discography, but the reliance on their time-tested, conservative formula is dispiriting.Brand recognition (or brand awareness) is an essential component in marketing. Good brands deliver the product's message clearly and concisely, while simultaneously substantiating its credibility in your mind. Some of the best commercials and advertisements connect with the target audience on a deeply emotional level.
Over the years, Dropkick Murphys have evolved (depending on your standpoint) from a full on Hardcore band into a good time Celtic Punk juggernaut. Their current incarnation has been knocking out huge sing-along feel good songs for some time now. A heady mix of bagpipes, penny whistles, choruses that are easy to chant when three sheets to the wind, and chest pounding guitar riffs is, as it would turn out, endlessly entertaining.
Signed and Sealed In Blood, the eighth album from Boston’s resident Irish-punk collective Dropkick Murphys, opens with the line, “The boys are back and they’re looking for trouble.” Perhaps a more fitting line has never been sung to start a Dropkick Murphys record. That “The Boys Are Back” informs the listener the flute-carrying outfit enjoys getting into a scuffle isn’t what makes the line pop, though. Such a raucous notion has been evident throughout their catalog and is even more obvious in a live setting.
You’re not likely to be surprised by much of what’s on Signed and Sealed in Blood, the eighth record from Celtic-punkers Dropkick Murphys. It’s got Irish-folk inflected punk tunes, blue-collar rock ‘n roll, and plenty of mentions of drinking and revelry. It also simplifies things following the band’s last album, the concept record Going Out in Style.
Going on 17 years since the Dropkick Murphys’ humble beginnings as Boston’s little streetpunk band that could, the seasoned Celtic punks have taken their earnest, workman-like brand of street-smart hardcore to unprecedented heights of mainstream popularity. Back in 1998, when hoards of leather-clad, liberty-spiked punks once tipped cars in riotous protest after being locked out from seeing the band at an all-ages show in Cambridge, MA, it seemed like the Dropkicks, then a traditional four-piece with a different singer, had already found their niche. After all, the dingy bowels of rock club life suited the band’s gruff, no-bullshit punk stylings perfectly.
This old-timing Boston band, now on their eighth album, inspire devotion extreme enough to make viable a promotional Instagram project of fans' band logo tattoos. It's a bit unfathomable that so many are willing to brand their own flesh in homage; this is to punk as eye patches and toy parrots are to Somali pirates – a hearty but slightly absurd cartoon of the original. But perhaps rabble-rousing reels, big, dumb, bruising guitars and flag-waving, roared choruses of bromidic triumphalism ("We'll live to fight another day/things don't always go our way") just make more sense after several pints of Guinness.
The Dropkick Murphys don’t mess with their jig-core on “Signed and Sealed in Blood. ” There may even be a bit too much familiarity on this eighth studio outing, with “Jimmy Collins’ Wake” following up “Tessie” as another tune steeped in ancient Red Sox lore, and the anthem-of-the-damned “Prisoner’s Song” echoing “I’m Shipping Up to Boston. ” But the Boston-accented mash-up of Irish folk and punk is still infectious; it’s easy to envision the mosh pits inspired by “The Boys Are Back” and fists pumping along to “The Battle Rages On.
Quincy punks’ eighth album underlines their appeal. Alistair Lawrence 2013 After starting life in the early 90s as a gnashing hardcore band fond of a nod to their Gaelic roots, Dropkick Murphys have gradually added and interlaced something more folky, ambitious and musically dexterous to their sound. For their troubles, they’ve grown in popularity but have had to endure the digs of punk fans unable to see past the green football scarves on their merch table.