Archive for the ‘dropkick murphys’ Category

Dropkick Murphys – The Meanest of Times (2007)

November 9, 2007

The Dropkick Murphys are one of the most distinctly provincial bands I have ever encountered. They are from Boston and make no bones about this fact, integrating their home city into their music so thoroughly that past albums have included anthems for the Red Sox and Bruins. And yet, the Dropkicks have a flair for making the regional transcendent. Their songs, though peppered with references to people and places distinctly Bostonian, could happen in the slums and side streets of any major city.

The Meanest of Times continues the Dropkicks Murphys’ proud tradition of working class anthems that combine punk blister with traditional Irish instrumentation. The band has always found their greatest success reworking traditional tunes, and that holds true here. While the original songs make an enjoyable use of lead singer Al Barr’s snarl and ability to spin tales of rough people enduring tough times, the band really shines on the tracks “(F)Lannigans Ball” and “Johnny, I Hardly Knew Ya,” which are both traditional tunes reworked into the Dropkicks’ idiom.

The Meanest of Times is another excellent entry in Dropkick Murphy’s increasing catalog of albums that are equally accessible at barrooms and Irish folk festivals.

– Nate Campbell

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