|The Dropkick Murphys
The Dropkick Murphys have plans to shake, rattle and roll our St. Patrick’s Day experience with their new disc Signed and Sealed in Blood and a national tour.
The album is their second with producer Ted Hutt (Gaslight Anthem, Old Crow Medicine Show), a partnership that raised the band’s profile with a hit holiday song, "The Season's Upon Us."
They’ve adopted a musical godfather in Bruce Springsteen, who jammed with the band and incorporated some Celtic fury into his own album Wrecking Ball. Lead singer Ken Casey has been invited by Springsteen to sing a song in his MusiCares tribute concert during Grammy Awards week.
The disc opens with the take-no-prisoners, made-for-the-sports-arena anthem "The Boys Are Back." It’s the caffeinated cousin of the stadium-shaking “I’m Shipping Up to Boston,” with a fist-pumping chorus of “the boys are back and they’re looking for trouble/and we’re coming for you” that screams over hand claps and loud bagpipes.
One (minor) complaint I’ve had this band is that their melody making was almost too good for punk rock. The notes were so well constructed in their songs that it seemed a shame to waste them in the requisite fast and furious punk rock beats.
On tracks like “Prisoner’s Song” and “Rose Tattoo,” the band savors the arrangement by slowing things down a bit and adding the sweet strum of a banjo or acoustic guitar without losing that essential rebellious snarl of this musical genre.
But please don’t think the lads have softened! On “The Season’s Upon Us,” the band sings a glorious Christmas tune so dysfunctional it makes “Fairytale of New York” feel like a Bing Crosby classic.
“My sisters are whack jobs I wish I had none/their husbands are losers and so are their sons,” Al Burr sings. “With family like this I would have to confess/I’d be better off lonely, distraught and depressed.”
Dropkick Murphys will be supporting the new album with their 2013 "St. Patrick's Day Tour," which will begin on February 21 in Cleveland and conclude with three dates in their hometown of Boston, including the fulfillment of the band's career-long dream of headlining the Boston Garden, now known as TD Garden, on March 15.
The show will be billed as "Dropkick Murphys Irish Festival," with bands and attractions on two stages. The entire tour will have an epic finale on St. Patrick's Day (March 17) at the House of Blues on Boston's famed Lansdowne Street.
Other dates include the Electric Factory in Philly on March 9, and Terminal 5 in New York on March 12 and 13.