Dropkick Murphys - 11 Short Stories Of Pain & Glory

Dropkick Murphys - 11 Short Stories Of Pain & Glory

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(CD, Born & Bred Records, 2017)

Back in the day, there was no red line separating Punk and Heavy Metal, even though there were occasional fights when those two different worlds found themselves at the same concert. To my mind, Punk will always carry Metal, and vice versa, so bands like DROPKICK MURPHYS will have a special place in my album collection and in my playlist. I am not talking solely about the music because the Boston-based band writes powerful lyrics or, as I like to describe this, ‘lyrics with opinion’. So, in this way of thinking, I was really looking forward to checking out the successor to the really good “Signed And Sealed In Blood”, carrying the titled “11 Short Stories Of Pain & Glory”.

The album puts the listener in the right Irish mood as it starts off with DROPKICK MURPHYS’ take on THE FUREYS’ moody instrumental “The Lonesome Boatman”. Of course, this version is more up-tempo and, on top of everything, features the Punk trademark “oooohs” which will surely make your blood pump faster in your veins. This is exactly the type of energy you’re getting for this kind of music so you better listen to it as loud as possible and you’ll be humming that flute tune at no time. “Rebels With A Cause” is the first song of the album, and even though there is not lots of serious distortion in the guitars, the energy is at high levels being fueled but the signature-singing of DROPKICK MURPHYS. Don’t forget the lyrics because here the band is addressing to all those kids that society (most of us that is) has forgotten... “Blood” goes on with the same spirit being backed up by bagpipes serving a fists-in-air groove while “Sandlot” changes the flow in a more Rock out attitude with a tad of nostalgia coming from the lyrics. “First Class Lover” is made from hit-material with the type of honest attitude I learn to love in my DROPKICK MURPHYS favorite LP “The Meanest Of Times”. The playful melodies (kudos to the banjo fiddler and the accordionist) are excellently mixed with the caustic lyrics which I am sure many of you will resonate with, so you better have a ‘dedicated to listen time’ for the chorus of this one (you’ll crack a smile in the process too).

If I am not terribly wrong, “Kicked To The Curb” is the only song with a guitar solo in it and I think it made feel a little bit nostalgic about the first DROPKICK MURPHYS albums where the Punk elements were more pronounced. However, you cannot dismiss the melody this band has brought to the music and how well it works in songs like “You Never Walk Alone”, so I guess it is true what they say about “you lose some, you win some”. By the way, my football mind (soccer, if you are in the States) immediately pointed to Liverpool FC’s famous hymn but this is not the band’s angle for this cover; this was recorded a red flag-raiser for the alarming numbers of opiate overdoses here in the States. “4-15-13” is also a special song as it pays homage to those innocent people who became victims of the blind hate which is also alarmingly increasing all around the globe in the Boston Marathon tragic events.

Sure, I would not say ‘no’ to some additional oomph in the music of “11 Short Stories Of Pain & Glory” but after a couple of listenings, the album grows inside and serves it purpose; to have fun and at the same time think a bit, so once again I will draw part of your listening attention to the lyrics and the way DROPKICK MURPHYS are using the right words that speak straight to your heart. I cannot wait to see once more the band live to sing and sweat along these tunes.





01. The Lonesome Boatman
02. Rebels With A Cause
03. Blood
04. Sandlot
05. First Class Loser
06. Paying My Way
07. I Had A Hat
08. Kicked To The Curb
09. You'll Never Walk Alone
10. 4-15-13


Al Barr - Lead Vocals
Tim Brennan - Guitar, Accordion, Mellotron, Tin Whistle, Vocals
Ken Casey - Lead Vocals, Bass
Jeff DaRosa - Banjo, Bouzouki, Mandolin, Harmonica, Acoustic Guitars, Vocals
Matt Kelly - Drums, Percussion, Vocals
James Lynch - Guitar, Vocals