Wednesday, 9 January 2013

#10: Dropkick Murphys - Signed & Sealed In Blood Review

The Dropkick Murphys are a band who have been at the forefront of Celtic Punk since their inception in 1996. Since then they've garnered popularity through annual St Patrick Day shows; featuring on the soundtrack to Oscar-winning films and releasing consistently good albums every couple of years. And this latest offering entitled Signed and Sealed In Blood is no exception. The first track The Boys Are Back is a rip-roaring shout-a-long that really does leave no questions as to whether or not the boys are truly back providing you can overlook the cheese of it all.

Thankfully that's the only track on the album that can be considered even the slightest bit debatable. Rose Tattoo the third track on the album is a good contender for a single and will have you singing along before the first chorus is through. Even though it's somewhat mellower than people might expect for one of the strongest songs on the album, this doesn't detract from it's impact any and in fact it is strengthened when coupled with track four Burn which is a fast-paced beer-fuelled song sure to prove a huge live favourite and a fantastic way to bring the album back to speed. Out of Their Heads is the penultimate track on the album and is as fast paced as you've come to expect, championing a story the vast majority of fans will be all too familiar with. The album ends with the longest track on the album End of the Night which is a slow and mellow almost ballad that's a nostalgic yarn not dissimilar to classic Kiss Me I'm Shit Faced and is a sure-fire close to any set with a chorus still ringing in fans ears as they stagger home.

Anyone looking for something ground breaking or different with Signed and Sealed in Blood is going to be disappointed. You have heard these songs before; you will hear them again but that's not strictly a bad thing. With live shows still selling out interest in the band has never been higher. Their last album Going Out In Style worried fans with what was rumoured would be a somewhat prophetic title. Those worries will have been calmed by the end of The Boys Are Back and completely obliterated by the end of Rose Tattoo.

It's easy to dismiss their music as formulaic, as it has only slightly mellowed over the years as their obvious Irish heritage and influence become more apparent with each album. However like lead vocalist Al Barr said “If it aint broke, don't fix it”. Clich├ęd that may be but the sentiment speaks for itself. Why should they change the formula when it's so apparent that it works well for them?

Click here to read my live review.

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