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Dropkick Murphys - Going Out in Style

Dropkick Murphys “Going Out in Style”

People seem to either love the Dropkick Murphys or really hate them. Those that love them have evolved with the band and appreciate how the sound has grown while still being fans of the somewhat harder-edged past, those who hate them probably never liked them in the first place. I probably do not need to mention that the Murphys are a blend of Celtic, rock and punk to anyone who has had the gift of hearing for the past twenty years, but if by chance you’ve just been released from some sort of an institution with padded walls or recently regained your hearing due to lightning strike, there you go, now you know what type of music to expect. Celtic instrumentation, gang vocals, punk chords and structure, and highly personal story telling lyrics that mix humor, nostalgia, themes of loyalty, regret, family, anger, and everything in between are still present as they have been since day one.

Going out in style is interesting in that it’s a story of one man, a fictional character named Cornelius Larkin and his life, the story of the highs and lows contained therein. The theme album is a new idea for the Dropkick Murphys and it’s an idea that works very well on this album. I’m listening to Going Out in Style right now at 9 AM as I write this review, and I want to go for a beer, which to me says “Mission Accomplished” by the Dropkick Murphys. When I first saw the title I felt a sort of panicky worry that the Dropkick Murphys may in fact be releasing their final album, however after a quick trip to google and listening to the record it’s clear that the title is in reference to the content of the lyrics and not anything to do with calling it a day. The album, like many of their releases moves through the more ballad-esque heavily emotional tracks like Cruel or 1953 into the more punk influenced and more energetic tracks such as Sunday Hardcore Matinee , which also works very well with a theme album like Going Out in Style. Irish music is about storytelling after all, this is not different from other Murphys albums, if you think of the whole album as one huge story and not a series of short stories.

Musically the Murphys are up to par with past releases. I know some people were a little down on the Meanest of Times, I think this will restore the faith for those who felt that way. Vocally the Murphys are solid as ever, taking turns with lead, gang vocals and big choruses are all part and parcel and that has not changed at all. Instrumentally the guitars and Irish instruments work as flawlessly as ever on Going Out in Style, creating that huge Irish punk hybrid we have come to expect from the Dropkick Murphys. Special guests appear on the title track and Peg O’ My Heart. Very recognizable guests. It’s not metal, it’s not thrash, but I love the Murphys and since I got a chance to review it, I jumped at it.

Overall Going Out in Style is a classic Dropkick Murphys album. Some might not agree, comparing it to earlier releases such as The Warriors Code, thinking it’s lighter or not as punk. If that’s all you look for in the Dropkick Murphys it may be a fair criticism, however if your a person who appreciates all the aspects of the Murphys, the Celtic, the punk, the storytelling nature of the lyrics, the mix of instrumentation, then Going Out in Style will not disappoint.

Track Listing:

  1. Hang ‘Em High
  2. Going Out In Style
  3. The Hardest Mile
  4. Cruel
  5. Memorial Day
  6. Climbing A Chair To Bed
  7. Broken Hymns
  8. Deeds Not Words
  9. Take ‘Em Down
  10. Sunday Hardcore Matinee
  11. 1953
  12. Peg O’ My Heart
  13. The Irish Rover


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