Dropkick Murphys serve up the anthemsPublished 2:00pm Friday, January 11, 2013
“Signed and Sealed in Blood” is the gruff, husky rock that listeners have come to expect from the Boston-based Dropkick Murphys.
Like 2011’s “Going Out in Style,” the eighth album from the Murphys is a raucous call to hoist a pint of Guinness and have a good time.
While “Going Out in Style” told the fictional story of Cornelius Larkin, band members have admitted “Signed and Sealed in Blood” is the Murphys cutting loose and having a good time.
Bassist Ken Casey described it as “just us having fun and making the most catchy, sing along kind of songs we can.”
As catchy, head-bobbing rock, it’s a clear success. Don’t even try to listen without at least toe-tapping — you won’t succeed.
Like Casey said, most of the songs are anthems to sing along to, which is easily done with a few listens. On “Jimmy Collin’s Wake,” the Murphys chant “let’s raise a glass and lift it up” before a chorus of “ohs.”
“The Season’s Upon Us,” which was released as a single in December, is a holiday song that now plays a bit late after the holidays, but it does serve to remind some people why they’re happy the holidays are over. The song tells a story of a dysfunctional family Christmas, capping things off with a rousing chorus of “They call this Christmas where I’m from.”
Despite the party-like atmosphere, the Murphys flash hints of a softer side, especially on “Rose Tattoo.” While some bands slow things down with acoustic love songs, the Dropkick Murphys slow things down by singing shanty-like tunes about proudly wearing a rose tattoo to remember their love: “With pride I’ll wear it to the grave for you / In a rose tattoo.”
Despite all the album’s catchy charm, there’s not much new under the sun. Avid Dropkick Murphys fans will be pleased with the new collection of anthems, but casual listeners likely won’t find much of a difference between “Signed and Sealed in Blood” and other Murphys albums.