Dropkick Murphys

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Do Or Die , 6.5/10
The Gang's All Hers , 6/10
Sing Loud Sing Proud , 6/10
Blackout (2003), 5/10
The Warrior's Code (2005), 5/10
The Meanest Of Times (2007), 5/10
Going Out in Style (2011), 5/10
Signed and Sealed in Blood (2013), 5/10

If English is your first language and you could translate my old Italian text, please contact me.
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Do Or Die (Hellcat, 1997) rivelo` un manipolo di teppisti musicali che prende di mira il patrimonio popolare trasformando le piu` innocue ballate folk (talvolta con tanto di cornamuse) in clamorose canzonacce da pub eseguite con la foga e il baccano del "peggior" punk-rock, un'idea a meta` strada fra Pogues e Mekons.
I Dropkick Murphys (Mike McColgan al canto, Rick Barton alla chitarra) sono per Boston cio` che i Pogues furono per la Gran Bretagna, forse meno furenti ma ancor piu` assordanti. Dopo il singolo Tattoos And Scally Caps e l'EP Boys On The Dock (Cyclone) esce il primo album, sedici viscerali e trascinanti esplosioni di energia.
I cori "oi" e le schitarrate roventi propellono gli irresistibili ritornelli/motti corali di Do Or Die, Barroom Hero e Skinhead On The MBTA. Se in questi brani il loro populismo si esalta a livelli epici e deliranti, in altri viene alla luce semplicemente la loro spettacolare predisposizione per il rock and roll piu` brado, dal voodoobilly Never Alone alla quadriglia di Caught In A Jar. Raramente i placoscenici di Boston sono stati scossi da tanta verve. Vent'anni prima questo sarebbe stato un classico.

(Clicka qua per la versione Italiana)

With new vocalist Al Barr The Gang's All Hers (Epitaph, 1999) is no less uncompromising, and Blood And Whiskey and Pipebomb On Lansdowne keep the flag flying high.

Augmented to a (fearful) septet, on Sing Loud Sing Proud (Epitaph, 2001) the Murphys still play the same anthemic hardcore bacchanals with the ferocity of a bunch of wild drunken hooligans imbued with the indomitable spirit of Irish folk music (For Boston, The Wild Rover, Which Side Are You On). If proof is needed on who influenced these punks, Shane MacGowan in person takes off his shirt for Good Rats.

On Blackout (Hellcat, 2003) they try to be more accessible, but can't completely hide their drunk, demented personas (Worker's Song, Walk Away, Kiss Me I'm #!@*faced).

Mike McColgan formed the Street Dogs and released Savin Hill (Cross Check, 2003).

The Warrior's Code (Hellcat, 2005) veered towards punk-pop with the catchy Sunshine Highway dished out next to revamped folk tunes (notably Woody Guthrie's I'm Shipping Up To Boston) and straightforward punk-rock rigmaroles. Something for everybody, but nothing that stands out.

The exuberance is still the same on The Meanest Of Times (Born & Bread, 2007), but, oddly enough, only the Celtic-tinged Faimount Hill and Flannigan's Ball sound in synch with the times, while the purely hardcore numbers sound like footage from an era that does not exist anymore. Nonetheless nobody like them knows how to turn melodic square dances like The State Of Massachusetts into blue-collar anthems.

Going Out in Style (Born & Bred, 2011), ostensibly a working-class concept album, exploits their trademark rousing Celtic overtones for something that would be more appropriate for the intellectual singer-songwriters of the 1970s than for the rowdy pub-rockers of the 21st century, although in a couple of cases (Memorial Day and Sunday Hardcore Matinee one glimpses that the difference is only in how fast one plays the notes.

Signed and Sealed in Blood (2013) contained facile singalongs such as Out of Our Heads and The Boys are Back, and even the power-ballad Rose Tattoo and the Christmas waltz The Season's Upon Us.

(Copyright © 2006 Piero Scaruffi | Terms of use )
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