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Though they have made a few lineup changes and released an album with another album on its way (plus a few 7"), Dropkick Murphys never changed their music style and never left the scene.
With this in mind, listening to the new album titled "Singles Collection" takes you back to where it all began for these Boston, Irish drunks, way before they played sold out shows and still played in the basements and parties (although the band has been known to still play those places!).
This cd features all their early 7" material plus a live show. The cd was originally released in Europe titled "the early years." The point of that release was to distribute poorly released or out of print 7" songs, but, since the cd was much in demand in the good U.S. of A, the album was distributed out here with more material, such as the live "do or die" record release party.
The material for this album was taken from diverse places in the Dropkick Murphys discography, such as the Dropkick Murphys/Ducky Boys split, Fire and brimstone 7", Tattoo's and Scally caps, split with Bruisers(the lead singer Al Barr later joined the Murphys), spilt with Anti-Heros, plus a live "Do or die" record release party.
This album clearly captures what the band is about, and it gives you a chance to own those hard-to-find songs you go crazy looking for. Once you have the songs, you'll go crazy anyway, because Dropkick demonstrates they are that good on this album.
More importantly, this album brings the old songs back to life, in better quality too.
One song, "Barroom Hero," is an anthem you should never forget. One of the more widely known Dropkick Murphys songs, it first got me into the band and is still my fave song, one about a man's struggle with alcohol and his family and friends. "Boys on the Docks" was written about Ken Casey's father, about how he was an immigrant from Ireland and how he made a living here in America. These songs illustrate the great storytelling the Dropkick Murphys are known for.
Plus, singer Mike McClogan has a strong Irish voice, and also their songs are usually good to sing along to. The rest of the old line up (the one that plays all the songs on the album) is Rick Barton, guitar; Ken Casey, bass; Matt Kelly on drums.
They don't really have a style of instrumentation that stands out, except that maybe when they use a whistle or a bagpipe, since clearly many other bands are not known for using such instruments. But Dropkick Murphys are, and they are unique in that respect.
Well there ya have it a good album for the Dropkick collectors everywhere. If you dont have the 7", wanna add this to your collection, or just are starting to be a Murphys fan, then this cd is definitely for you. Dropkick Murphys have another album on the way in September and are featured on Punk o rama 5 too, those hard working guys. But for the "Singles Collection," pick it up, play it loud and annoy your neighbors.
Alex Rud is Contributing Columnist. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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