Wednesday, January 02, 2013

Dropkick Murphys: "Signed and Sealed in Blood" (album review)

I can't think of a better way to kick off a new year than with a new record from a band that always puts a smile on my face: Dropkick Murphys.  The Boston celt-punks drop their new album, Signed and Sealed in Blood, on January 8th.

The tone for the album is set quickly with the opener "The Boys Are Back".  They are indeed as the bagpipes and hooks will have you singing along well before the 2-minute mark of the song.  The raucous jig (or is it a reel?, I can never tell) "Prisoner's Song" will get your feet moving, and "Out On the Town" will keep the party going.

Of course there are odes to the sauce.  "Jimmy Collins' Wake" and the closer "End of the Night" both celebrate the joy, and dangers, of drinking with friends.

The album's standout is "The Season's Upon Us".  It's a sly number in the mold of The Ramones "Merry Christmas (I Don't Want To Fight Tonight)" that appears destined to become a Christmas-time staple for years to come.

Tracks like "Don't Tear Us Apart", "My Hero", and the lead single "Rose Tattoo" are the kind of ho-hum numbers that have proliferated the band's recent efforts.  Thankfully, a ho-hum Dropkick Murphys tune is still pretty good.

If Dropkick Murphys can't keep you out of a mid-winter funk then there is no hope for you.

Best tracks: "The Season's Upon Us", "The Boys Are Back"

Track listing for Signed and Sealed in Blood:
  • The Boys Are Back
  • Prisoner's Song
  • Rose Tattoo
  • Burn
  • Jimmy Collins' Wake
  • The Season's Upon Us
  • The Battle Rages On
  • Don't Tear Us Apart
  • My Hero
  • Out On the Town
  • Out of Our Heads
  • End of the Night

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