Signed and Sealed in Blood – Dropkick Murphys

Signed and Sealed in Blood

Dropkick Murphys

Born & Bred Records

2013

Surely you’ve never heard a punk rock band with as much gusto as this seven-piece from Massachusetts. Originally formed in ’96, the band made a name for themselves on Hellcat Records, marrying the sounds of punk rock with a classic Irish sound that makes you want to grab a pint and have some fun. I had been wondering what happened to singer Al Barr and the boys for a while, until I discovered — alas! — a new album! Signed and Sealed in Blood, released January 8th, is the band’s eighth studio album and is fucking brilliant.

The album opens with “The Boys Are Back” — not a bad opener, I must say. However, the lyrical content is a little lacking — repetitive is an understatement — nonetheless though, this isn’t arena rock; it’s punk rock. So I give it a free pass for that one. The one thing that fills my heart with joy while listening to “The Boys Are Back” is the unique blend of distortion and fast tempos with bagpipes and heavy unison chorus vocals. Nothing makes you feel like having a good time more than that.

Banjos, accordions, and bagpipes — punk at its punkest.

The Dropkick Murphys make it clear throughout the album that the only agenda they had while making this disc was to have fun. “Burn” begins with a rapid tempo, like you’ll break a rib in a mosh pit fast, lulls a bit in the middle, and then kicks it up about ten more notches. The band sets out to make sure their listener is going to have a good time, and this song really proves that.

With a known tendency towards Irish folk music, the band doesn’t disappoint on this album. The Irish influence is heavy in songs like “Jimmy Collin’s Wake” and the Christmas tune “The Season’s Upon Us.” Both of which feature bag pipes, organs, folk style tempos and melodies, the whole nine.s.” Both of which feature bag pipes, organs, folk style tempos and melodies, the whole nine.

Toward the end of the album, “My Hero” pulls the album together with a straight punk song. The track is fast, and while it does feature the group vocals in the chorus, there doesn’t appear to be any elements of traditional Irish music in here. Songs like this one keep the album fresh and really let the listener wonder what they’ll come up with next.

The strange swing-esque “Out On The Town” is just one tune I could do without on this album. Where I did enjoy the back and forth with the mix of sounds, this one is just so far out on left field that I didn’t find it did the album any favors. I’ll let this one slide, I guess, even with the whistling…

That aside, check this album out.

I need a beer now.

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2 Responses to “Signed and Sealed in Blood – Dropkick Murphys”

  1. Down with the false, only Flogging Molly is trve.

  2. Is this that Irish band?

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