Dropkick Murphys

Going Out In Style

Written by: PP on 07/03/2011 05:01:17

While listening to the seventh Dropkick Murphys studio album "Going Out In Style", I thought to myself: anybody who doesn't like celtic folk punk with a drunken Irish twist to it probably isn't a very extroverted person and doesn't like having criminal amounts of fun while plastered for the sake of being plastered. The jolly melodies are just too fun and happy to be ignored, as they are designed to induce even the shyest of people to pull out the dancing shoes and go nuts. I mean who doesn't love the bright melody of a bag pipe contrasting joyous and frenetic banjo melodies, right? You can argue without much opposition that at the latter trade you'll find no better group of drunken merry men than Dropkick Murphys. Just use "Going Out In Style" as evidence, and you'll go a long way convincing any skeptic.

Compared to their previous album "The Meanest Of Times" from four years ago, the new full length is a considerably brighter and more party-oriented affair. That's not to say that the last record wasn't a blast anyway, but the bagpipe melodies, banjos and flutes are used differently here, shifting focus more into high-energy folk rock/punk rather than the hardcore rooted folk of their earlier albums. This change is also audible in the tempo choices, as quite a few of the songs assume a ballad-oriented approach (such as the accordion-driven "Cruel") instead of the pedal-to-the-floor medley of party anthems like the title track. That doesn't make the songs any less fun, however, because the combination of flutes, accordion, banjo, bagpipes and impeccably placed gang shouts guarantee an anthemic, chant-alongable sound that's so easy to love and so difficult (if not impossible) to hate.

That brings me to the vocal dynamics, which are again off the charts. The alternating, turn-based style of the harder edged and cleaner vocals gives the songs their undeniable charm, their working-class spirit and easily accessible vibe. The gang shouts make sure everyone's singing along and helping to kickstart the party in the crowd, and this department is completed by a couple of interesting guest appearances. Fat Mike of NOFX makes a disappointingly short, one line appearance during the title track together with The Living End's Chris Cheney, but the big points come in from Bruce Springsteen's involvement on "Peg o' My Heart".

With bagpipe & Guinness fueled party anthems like "Deeds Not Words" leading the way, "Going Out In Style" once again proves that Dropkick Murphys are not just the leading and unquestionably best folk punk band, but also one of the consistently great punk bands still recording albums on a semi-regular basis. With thirteen chant-alongable, highly energetic, genre-defining folk punk tracks on offer, there's little in way of awarding Dropkicks an almost guaranteed spot in my top 10 list come December this year.

Download: Going Out In Style, The Irish Rover, Climbing A Chair To Bed, Deeds Not Words
For the fans of: Flogging Molly, The Real McKenzies, Rovers Ahead, Old Man Markley
Listen: Myspace

Release date 01.03.2011
Born & Bred Records

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