When you think Celtic Irish rockers, most think of either Flogging Molly or Dropkick Murphys, both of which have found their fame through movie and video game soundtracks, as well as a dedicated fanbase. Now, both bands are true to their music and have released many a-record over many a-decade, like many a-band out there today in fact. But, listening to ’11 Short Stories Of Pain & Glory’ separates the Dropkick Murphys from those who are equally, if not longer in the tooth.
Listening to the latest offerings from the likes of Reel Big Fish or The Offspring, or any band from yesteryear, it’s painfully obvious that they’re just going through the motions, churning out the same, safe, fan-friendly sounds that will appease their record contract.
Now, don’t get me wrong, this latest album from Dropkick Murphys is still quintessential Celtic rock, one that would fit perfectly as the back drop to a bar fight. But, there’s still an earnest attempt to grow as musicians.
It’s a true testament to the band as a collection of artists that they’re expanding their repertoire at album number nine and not pandering to their fanbase. Nothing confirms this more than a visceral cover of ‘You’ll Never Walk Alone’, inspired by the many funerals the band have attended, be it through an epidemic of opiate overdoses currently coursing the US, or the harrowing events of the Boston Bombings.
Sure. There’s the odd high octane, kick-to-the-teeth, punky anthem about brawling in a boozer, but even that standard track still feels as fresh as the first time that you heard ‘Shipping Off To Boston’ back in 2006, but on the whole, this is a very mature record.
So, fan or not, ’11 Short Stories Of Pain & Glory’ is a solid album worthy of your time, and one that offers not just a nostalgic kick, but some genuine emotion within the distorted chords and break neck rhythms.
Written by Andy Roberts (@Sassensquatch)
Founder & Editor for DEAD PRESS! | Atheist and antitheist. | Judge of the quick & the dead since 1989. | Aspiring freelance pizza eater.