Dropkick Murphys – The Meanest Of Times


Album

The Meanest Of Times

Label

Born And Bred Records

Year

2007

Genre

For Fans Of

Flogging Molly, The Tossers, The Disasters

Summary

That band from 'The Departed'...

Rating

75 / 100
For a band with such a defined style as Dropkick Murphys, it must be
hard to stick to the sound for which you’re loved without feeling
like you’ve become a gimmick or a parody of yourself. In this sense,
progression is essential, but how far can you move away from yourself
without abandoning this sound entirely? Heavy.      

 

The first major difference in ‘The Meanest Of Times’ is the traditional
instruments have really been toned down and the folk influence moved
aside slightly in favour of a more punk sounding record. There are still
some roaring Celtic style songs on here, opener Famous For Nothing showing
us these guys are still repping the fighting Irish spirit. (Apart from
the country and western sounding guitar lead at the start, which is
just fucking weird and I’m not sure what they were trying to do, but
it still sounds ok.)  

And the re-arranged traditional (F)Lannigan’s Ball is a blinder, even
pulling on board Spider Stacey of The Pogues and the man himself, Ronnie
Drew of The Dubliners, for some guest vocal spots*.  

 

But I found listening to this disc, in a lot of areas it’s almost
as if it were written as a punk rock record, and the other instruments
were just left to play over the top of what was there, meaning everything
is in its place, but at the same time it seems to lack a lot of heart
in places.  

 

Ironically, the straight up punk songs on here are actually rad, I’ll
Begin Again and Shattered are tough as nails and catchy as chlamydia,
and possibly indicative of the band’s attempts at trying not to fall
into a guiness-filled rut. That said, everything these guys have done
has been doused in a healthy pint of punk, they just seem so much more
preoccupied with it here, but I’m probably wrong. 

Conclusion

But for all my cynical shit talk, this record is a total riot, and pretty
much everything you’d expect from these mick bastards. Full of sing-alongs
and tin whistle and dudes singing like pirates, definitely worth a listen
if you’re a fan of the style. 

 

 

*If you don’t know who these bands are, grow a set and school yourself
toy!!!

Tracklisting

1. Famous For Nothing 

2. God Willing 

3. The State Of Massachusetts 

4. Tomorrow’s Industry 

5. Echoes On ‘A’. Street  

6. Vices And Virtues 

7. Surrender 

8. (F)La

5 Responses to “Dropkick Murphys – The Meanest Of Times”

  1. punk_rawker

    Great Review, wish i got the chance to see to them last tour.

    Love the last line (quote) haha, almost as good as mine on the RIPs myspace bio

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