I hold a true place in my heart for California’s punk rock scene, and the thought of punk in any other form might be considered blasphemy to me.
I was asked by a friend to review the new album, Signed and Sealed in Blood from Boston’s Celtic punk icons, Dropkick Murphys.
To me, this Celtic punk scene always seemed on the surface to be merely about having a good-time, pint with your lads and puffing bagpipes over punk rock instrumentals. I guess I never really got that concept.
But call it luck o’ the Irish, or just the simple fact that Saint Patrick’s Day is just around the corner, I decided to pour up a frosty Guinness and give this album a go.
It begins in typical Dropkick fashion with their signature bagpipe sound and a fast punk melody, underlining a chorus of hooligan bar-fight chanting The Boys Are Back.
If you are a fan of the Dropkick status quo you will not be disappointed. But I needed something more (perhaps more beer).
Searching for more depth, I decided to pull up the music video for the next track in review, Rose Tattoo
As the mandolin softly plucked over a scene of poker and whisky, I was delighted to see a different side of Dropkick. The song is a tribute to those who have supported the band over their continuing 17 year long career and features many fans with Dropkick Murphys tattoos.
With the song ending on the lyrics, “I’ve got your name written here, in a rose tattoo, signed and sealed in blood I would die for you.” This seems to be Dropkick’s way of giving back to their most die hard fans.
The album continues with the instant holiday classic, The Season’s Upon Us, featuring a fun, zany homage to singer Ken Casey’s family.
I will admit I was really enjoying myself with this album, more then I’d expected to anyway. After hearing the Rockabilly style tune of Out on the Town, I am slowly turning into a fan.
But no matter if I want it to end or not, the bar does have closing hours and at the End of the Night the Dropkick Murphys will toast until they’re kicked out.
BOTTOM LINE: Dropkick Murphys kick ass, drink beer and get a wee bit sappy. If you enjoy that, you’ll enjoy Signed and Sealed in Blood.p>