Review: Dropkick Murphys, Going Out In Style

Going Out In  Style has been four years in the making and is the seventh studio album by Boston’s Dropkick Murphys.

The Celtic punk stalwarts have produced a concept album telling the story of a fictitious Irish immigrant, Cornelius Larkin. The theme of the album follows the trials and tribulations of this man as he travels to America following World War 2 to make a new life for himself after many of his friends had already fled their homeland. The album sleeve contains an obituary of Larkin and there are plans to write a book.

If you’re familiar with the Dropkick Murphys then there are no great surprises here, 13 solidly written and performed tracks that feature lyrics on struggle, fighting, drinking and death, what else would a celtic-folk-punk band write about?! ‘Memorial Day’ is possibly the most commercial sounding song the Murphys have recorded which could win them fans with more mainstream sensibilities.

As well as this stripped back sound there are also songs that hark back to the band’s beginnings; ‘Hang ‘Em High’ and ‘Deeds Not Words’ are balls out punk-rock-with-bagpipes anthems akin to those that feature on their first album, ‘Do Or Die’, back in 1997. 

As usual there are rearranged traditional numbers on this album, these include ‘Peg ‘O My Heart’ and a turbo (shandy) charged version of ‘Irish Rover’ that somehow manages to be more rowdy than the version by The Dubliners and The Pogues. Guests appear by the bucket-load too with turns made by Fat Mike (NOFX), Chris Cheney (The Living End), the Bostonian comedian Lenny Clarke and Bruce Springsteen.

This is another well written and produced album that stands in line with the Murphys’ back catalogue, though there is a slightly more commercial sound to a few tracks. But there are still enough songs to swing a pint of Guinness around with a group of friends and get messy! Far from going out in style, the Murphys are going from strength to strength.

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