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Review: Dropkick Murphys back with a vengeance

By Staff | Feb 28, 2013

Just in time for St. Paddy’s Day, the Dropkick Murphys throw fans a big bone in the form of a brand new full-length release entitled “Signed and Sealed in Blood,” which is actually a line from the record’s lead single, “Rose Tattoo.”

Fans of this band should be glad to know that, as they proclaim in the album’s opener, “The Boys Are Back.” This also happens to be one of the strongest opening tracks since 2001’s “Sing Loud, Sing Proud” opener, “For Boston.”

With such a strong start, one might have to wonder, or better yet worry, that there is no where to go but down. Fortunately this is not the case. While “Signed and Sealed” has its accelerations and decelerations, Boston’s beloved sons deliver on what is probably one of their most solid releases in recent years.

Over the past few years the Dropkick Murphys has experienced some relatively significant changes ranging from personnel to label changes. It’s for the fans to say ultimately how these fluctuations have changed and affected the material released in recent years, but it sure seems like they’ve rediscovered the pulse that drives the well-oiled machine that the band has assembled over the years of nonstop writing and touring.

The Murphys are arguably one of the biggest punk rock bands still thriving doing what they’ve done since their inception and refusing to abandon their roots that they hold so dear. “Signed and Sealed in Blood” is, all in all, a triumphant release for this band now approaching its near twenty year existence. Luckily for their loyal legions of fans, this album is a solid answer to the question posed by so many adoring fans after the release of their last album, “Going Out in Style.”

As I said, the band comes out swinging with the opener, “The Boys Are Back,” which wastes no time recalling their famed roots with the Irish folk, Boondock Saints-esque, “Prisoner’s Song.”

Anticipation for this new record was built early on with the remarkable descriptive ditty, “Rose Tattoo,” which immediately created a respectable amount of positive buzz, though there were a few naysayers who claimed that the Murphys were losing their edge. While the song itself might not appeal to a lot of people accustomed to the band’s sing-a-long anthems, skeptics should be satiated with infectious melodies in tracks like “Burn,” “Jimmy Collins’ Wake,” “Don’t Tear Us Apart,” and “Out of Our Heads.”

Refreshingly, they offer a slight departure from some of the typical DKM song in terms of music progression and structure in a good stand-out tune entitled “Out on the Town.”

“End of the Night.” appropriately closes out the album, proclaiming, “it’s the end of the night, but we ain’t goin’ home!”

DKM fans should have no problem finding something within these new songs that reminds them of why the DKM are still a reigning band of their kind.