Murphys (DKM) are back, and their timing couldn’t be better. Their new album, Going Out In Style, dropped on March
1. As one of America’s most talented and popular Celtic-rock bands —
one of the few and proud to feature bagpipes and electric guitar on most every
song — Dropkick Murphys know a thing or two about their fan base. It’s no
wonder the new album came out mere weeks before St. Patrick’s Day. You
could add Going Out In Style to DKM’s
seven full-length studio and various live albums, toss them all into your CD
player (or onto a playlist on your fancy schmancy iPod), and you wouldn’t need
any other soundtrack for your Guinness and Jameson binge come March 17.
the Murphys aren’t just about whiskey, beer and barroom brawls. They are,
and have been for their 15 years of existence, fierce supporters of the working
class. They’re blue collar guys, and their music has always told the
tales of the workers on whose shoulders this country was built. With its
lead off battle cry, “Hang ‘Em High,” and the eerily timely, pro-union anthem,
“Take ‘Em Down,” Going Out In Style
could serve as the soundtrack for the organized labor protests in Wisconsin,
Indiana, Ohio or anywhere else where the man is trying to keep people down.
Going Out In
also showcases Dropkick Murphys’ evolution as storytellers. While, in the
past, DKM has used individual songs to tell great stories (check out “Barroom
Hero” or “Boys on the Docks” among many others), Going Out In Style goes a quantum leap farther as the entire album
tells the tale of Cornelius “Connie” Larkin. Connie is actually a
fictional construct built from the band members’ personal experiences, family
histories and cultural identifications, and he serves as the perfect cipher for
everything Going Out In Style has to
all the Celtic culture and working class pride, Going Out In Style is just one hell of a lot of fun to listen to.
As a longtime Murphys fan, I found myself somewhat concerned by the
“maturity” seeping into the past couple of albums. They were much less
powerful and much more hit and miss than earlier offerings, and they gave me
the impression that DKM might be losing its edge. Going Out In Style, even with its decidedly grown-up guest spot by
one Mr. Bruce Springsteen on ”Peg O’ My Heart,” harkens back to Blackout and DKM’s even earlier work and
shows that the boyos from Boston still know how to rock.