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Dropkick Murphy’s fifth studio album comes out swinging and punching right from the opening notes of “Your Spirit’s Alive,” a tune the band penned for their friend Greg “Chickenman” Riley, who was killed in a 2004 motorcycle accident. The song is a ferocious number that’s as spirited as the title suggests, pulling influences from old-school English punk, some workingman’s steel-toed Oi! and a hint of Celtic folk. Aside from Big Country’s 1983 namesake hit, the title-track here makes the best use of a bagpipe in a non-Scottish folk song. “The Warrior’s Code” rocks and rolls under reedy drones as Al Barr’s graveled voice sings and howls praise for “Irish” Micky Ward, a retired junior welterweight professional boxer whom the album is dedicated to. Another standout is “Captain Kelly’s Kitchen,” an anthemic fist-pumper that makes Dropkick Murphys sound like the bastard punk sons of the Pogues with hyper tempos rolling and pounding under accordion, fiddle, bagpipes and mandolin as Barr injects lyrics from the 1914 classic Irish canticle “Too-Ra-Loo-Ra-Loo-Ral (That’s an Irish Lullaby).” A raunchy reworking of Boston Red Sox rally song “Tessie” closes with drunken aplomb.
High Energy Bar Rock
This is an album meant for guys who want to get hyped up about something and probably have had a good deal of alcohol. While the music itself is somewhat innovative with bagpipe background, the songs get to be somewhat repetitive. You might find yourself not knowing which song you are listening to, but you probably won’t care. If you are looking for a high enery, alcohol driven, psyche-up rock with an Irish twist you’ve come to the right place. It may not be exactly memorable, but that’s not always what makes a good album. I like it, and that is what matters to me. Solid 4 out of 5.
Where do I begin?
This CD is almost TOO good for me to handle. If you just bought Shipping out to boston and then left your missing out on great songs like take it and run, the walking dead, wicked sensitive crew, and sunshine highway. And of course there is the excellent cover of Green Fields of France. But my favorite by FAR would have to be their version of the Auld Triangle, that song is AMAZING! Overall this album is too good to be true all the songs are worth 5 stars. Trust me I’ve listened through the whole thing too many times to count, the murphys provide hours of enjoyment.
All these songs rock, and they remind me of the 2004 Sox playoff run, and their first world series victory in 86 years. Must have for all Sox fans.
Formed: 1995 in Quincy, MA
Years Active: ’90s, ’00s, ’10s
The hardcore punk/Celtic folk outfit Dropkick Murphys formed in South Boston in 1995; vocalist Mike McColgan, guitarist Rick Barton, and bassist Ken Casey comprised the original nucleus of the group, with a series of drummers passing through the lineup before the addition of Matt Kelly in 1997. After a series of EPs, including Fire & Brimstone, Tattoos & Scally Caps, and Boys on the Docks, the Dropkick Murphys signed to Hellcat Records to issue their 1998 full-length Do or Die, produced by Rancid’s…