Dropkick Murphys

Signed And Sealed In Blood

Written by: PP on 14/01/2013 22:32:02

Here's the good news: Dropkick Murphys are out with yet another album of jolly folk punk delivered the Boston way, with huge gang shouts walking hand-in-hand with banjos, mandolins, accordions, bagpipes and an authentic Celtic punk atmosphere. "Signed And Sealed In Blood" is their eighth full-length, which means you've just been handed a copy of an album that sounds exactly like you expected it to sound like. Get on your dancing shoes, it's time to party Dropkick Murphys style while participating in a few fast-paced circle pits in the process. Right?

So here comes the bad news. It's nowhere near as good as their modern masterpiece "The Meanest Of Times" or even as good as "Going Out In Style". The former re-established Dropkick Murphys as a mainstay in punk rock by essentially reinvigorating their sound entirely with an edgier and less polished sound, something which had resulted in a couple of decent, but too forgettable albums in 2003 ("Blackout") and 2005 ("The Warrior's Code"). "Going Out In Style" took their sound to the mainstream by picking up where its predecessor left off, but softening their stance somewhat to make it more accessible for the masses. That wasn't a problem yet because it still sounded bloody awesome, but it's a problem now. "Signed And Sealed In Blood" has way more folk influence than it has punk rock, so the songs are naturally less catchy and more celtic. They have also toned down on the guitars to the extent that some heavy element is almost completely absent on this album. One of the reasons that made DKM so successful over the years was their blend of hardcore and punk rock to folk melodies. Not the folk melodies themselves, so to say.

The other problem is that even though there's some change evident, the songs still sound almost identical to their previous output. It feels like a rehash of their glory days without ever capturing the same spirited sing alongs in the same way as in the past. So a lot of the songs sound a little tired, cliché even.

But those rather negative remarks aside, it's still a DKM album so it's still gonna be pretty good. "Prisoner's Song" is golden (even if it resembles "I'm Shipping Up To Boston"), "End Of The Night" will be played many a time by bars and parties wanting to close it down with one gigantic melancholic sing along, and "Rose Tattoo" is as good as a DKM ballad comes in a folksy form. It's just hard not to compare the record to its predecessors and feel a little disappointed.


Download: Prisoner's Song, Rose Tattoo, End Of The Night
For the fans of: Flogging Molly, Street Dogs, Flatfoot 56, The Real McKenzies
Listen: Facebook

Release date 08.01.2013
Born & Bred Records

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