For Fans Of
“The Boys Are Back,” Dropkick Murphys triumphantly and confidently introduce studio album number eight – ‘Signed and Sealed in Blood’. Is it simply a fun, engaging proclamation to begin proceedings or is the title/chant a little more profound? The question is best left unanswered, with Dropkick Murphys again returning with an all-encompassing style that combines musical, social and cultural themes into one fluent composite of Celtic punk.
It is a common face for the Massachusetts crew here, with the album well paced, shifting through upbeat moments and emotional musical sentiment.
Again the sound is consistent with previous offerings. Dropkick Murphys‘ approach is stoic and doesn’t sway. That’s not to say it’s much of the same, but the general blueprint is constant – ‘If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.’
An emerging theme upon a cursory listen is Dropkick Murphys appear care-free and relaxed. While ‘Going Out In Style’ was more specific in terms of its themes, ‘Signed and Sealed in Blood’ flows, with the band (and music) focused and casual in an ideal sense. There doesn’t appear to be internal or external pressure, just a band enjoying playing music for the right reasons.
‘Prisoner’s Song’ has that up-tempo rhythmic base to it that made such prominent predecessors a la ‘I’m Shipping Up to Boston’ so popular. That real Irish twang or rather melancholy is still retained. Tracks including ‘Rose Tattoo’ and ‘Jimmy Collins’ Wake’ tell the story and paint the picture in full sonic account. ‘Burn’ is a real punk rock moment – fast and gritty.
The collection of songs transition clearly into one another. It might be a stretch to say it’s a rollercoaster, where it goes from fast to slow and vice versa. However, each track, in both mood and speed, is different from the next.
‘Don’t Tear Us Apart’ is a little more rock ‘n’ roll oriented, while concluding track ‘End of the Night’ signs off in a heartfelt and reflective manner.
Dropkick Murphys know the drill by now. They’ve been around long enough to find their place. And while the music is always of a similar range, it still grabs the listener. Efforts like this should maintain the interest.
Dropkick Murphys show that a tried and true sound can continually deliver the goods. Sure, you know what to expect and equally you know what you’re getting. But, as long as the music is honest and the sound dynamic then the reception will remain in the positive column.
1. The Boys Are Back
2. Prisoner’s Song
3. Rose Tattoo
5. Jimmy Collins’ Wake
6. The Season’s Upon Us
7. The Battle Rages On
8. Don’t Tear Us Apart
9. My Hero
10. Out On The Town
11. Out Of Our Heads
12. End Of The Night