DKM come out swinging with their sixth studio album; a collection of tales about family, loyalty, and remembering where you came from. It contains all the best elements of the band's sound: a complex distillation of classic punk rock, Celtic folk, and American rock 'n' roll. It puts the band's diversity, intensity, and sincerity on full display. Consolidating strong sales history with digital single sales of 250,000 for "I'm Shipping Up To Boston", which was the title track in Martin Scorcese's Academy Award winning film, "The Departed". For fans of The Pogues, The Clash, Stiff Little Fingers, AC/DC, Bruce Springsteen.
After hitting it semi-big when "I'm Shipping Up to Boston" (from 2005's The Warrior's Code) was prominently featured in Martin Scorcese's Oscar-winner The Departed, Dropkick Murphys return with another round of punch-drunk punk on The Meanest of Times (it's unclear whether the title refers to the current state of world affairs or the scowling Catholic schoolyard hooligans depicted on the record's cover...). Continuing their usual melding of the Pogues' raved-up Celtic strains with the bouncy energy of early Green Day, the result is somewhere on the lines of If I Should Fall from Grace with God getting in a fender-bender with Dookie--seven Boston punks can sure make a lot of noise. Life isn't only a party for the band, however, and there's more than a dash of Springsteen's somber human portraits in the broken-down company men and damaged families observed in songs like "Tomorrow's Industry" and "Surrender". The Meanest of Times' aggressive musical swagger and driving instrumentation don't obscure the fact that the Dropkick Murphys have something insightful to say. --Ben Heege
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