It might be because I’m Irish, it might be because I lived in Boston for so long, or it might be because the band are such nice guys. Whatever the reason, I love me some Dropkick Murphys. This is a band that is one of the best times you can have listening to an album, at least without sex involved.
Dropkick Murphys write songs with such an anthemic vibe to them that you have to sing along. The band’s newest studio offering Going Out In Style is more of the same. Huge Irish tinged, punk influenced, rock jams that feel like you’re sitting in a bar singing Gaelic fight songs only with old punks instead of old men. This is music to hang out with friends to, fight to and kiss girls to. It’s a pretty frickin all out party.
Is this important music? No. Is this punk along the lines of Black Flag or Bad Brains? No. I don’t get into the argument of the punk authenticity of Dropkick Murphys because I don’t feel the band present themselves as a punk band. Sure they have some punk ethos about them, such as constantly touring and making sure not to rip off the fans. They wear their Irish pride and love of Boston on their sleeve but at no time do they run around trying to revive a long lost genre. Instead they bring back an era when punk and hardcore shows were fun, before the kickboxing, tough guy gang members stepped in and fucked it all up.
Going Out In Style kicks off with a killer drum solo, then comes the bagpipes and finally a huge riff that sails in on top of a fist-pumping chant. It’s the recipe that has served the band so well that they rarely abandon it. Occasionally they’ll dig into a slow, sad, sing along like “Cruel”, but for the most part it’s a big Irish throw down. One of the best examples is “Sunday Hardcore Matinee”, a banjo pickin, Irish love song to the shows that all hardcore kids grew up on. It’s amazing that so many miles away kids were part of the same scene and ideals we had in New York City. The song is an awesome trip down memory lane for some and for the rest it’s a helluva fun tune to dance to.
The title track is one of the catchiest on the record. It’s a fatalist look back on a life spent in a band from a band that’s seen it all. Probably the biggest surprise on the album is “Peg O My Heart”, not just because musically it’s a little different than the standard Dropkick Murphys song but also because it features Bruce Springsteen. It’s awesome to hear a neighborhood band rubbing elbows with a musical icon. Few bands deserve success as much as the Dropkick Murphys. They’ve always done what they do, they’ve always stayed true to their fan base and more importantly they always write kick ass records. Sure they might all sound the same but if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.
Some will accuse me of not being harsh enough on the repetitiveness of Dropkick Murphys and I can understand that. To me a band that finds a niche and exploits it well, writing great songs and putting out solid albums, can stick with a formula that works for them. There’s also very few bands that sound like Dropkick Murphys and the ones that do came long after them anyway. Going Out In Style is another feather in a green pimp hat reserved for great Irish bands like the Pogues, Black 47 and, of course, the Dropkick Murphys.
CRAVE ONLINE RATING 8 OUT OF 10