“They’re songwriters–and good ones, too, preserving their party-boy reputation while turning out giant, soulful choruses on songs both manicured and memorable.” – Rolling Stone
Following last February’s barnstorming sell-out show at Vicar Street, Boston’s hard-working Celtic-punks return with a new album Signed and Sealed in Blood and a visit to Dublin for two dates on Sat 12th and Sun 13th January
Watch Bruce Springsteen Perform ‘Badlands’ and ‘Shipping Up to Boston’ With Dropkick Murphys: http://bit.ly/g46ogz
Signed and Sealed in Blood is the forthcoming and eight studio album by the Dropkick Murphys. The album is due for release in January 2013 on the band’s Born & Bred Records label. The album’s title comes from the lyrics of the first single, “Rose Tattoo”.
On August 31, 2012, the band announced the album’s title and first single through their Facebook page. The band has been soliciting fans to tattoo themselves with the new logo from the album’s cover and send photos and videos to their web site by September 19, 2012. The images will be used in the packaging for the CD and vinyl album.
Where Going Out in Style told the story of a fictional character named Cornelius Larkin — complete with an obituary written by Michael Patrick MacDonald for the liner notes — Signed… has no such constraints. “This is just the opposite of that,” bassist Ken Casey explains, “just us having fun and making the most catchy, singalong kind of songs we can. It’s not that the last album wasn’t fun. It was. Going Out in Style is one of the records I’m most proud of, of anything we’ve done. But it gave me a couple migraines along the way, getting through that because everything was so connected. This time we cut loose.” But he does feel that Signed… is also “almost a continuation of (Going Out in Style), in a musical sense. There’s an upbeat, party vibe to it. A lot of these songs, we were having such a good time writing them and just enjoying the writing process. It’s the quickest we’ve released an album, ever, after another.”
The group has been previewing some of the new songs during its Halfway To St. Patrick’s Day U.S. tour, which wraps up September 21, 2012 in Boston. Casey describes the final track, “The End of the Night,” as “the closing time, kind of loser’s anthem, about people who don’t want to go home.” The album also features a holiday song called “Tis The Season,” which Casey promises “is definitely not some cheesy Christmas tune. It’s about a dysfunctional family.”
While pop/rock’s pantheon of concept characters is topped by incredible and outlandish characters like Ziggy Stardust and Tommy, the truth is that Cornelius Larkin — war veteran, working-class hero, and the fictional centrepiece of Dropkick Murphys’ seventh studio album, Going Out in Style — would likely outfight and outdrink them. A concept album, the record tells the story of the life, love, and death of a rough-and-tumble Irish immigrant, even going so far as to include an obituary in the liner notes. Musically, the album doesn’t stray far from the sound the band has developed over the years, which definitely isn’t a bad thing. With their fusion of Celtic and punk, Dropkick Murphys have set themselves far enough apart from the bulk of punk rock that changing anything would feel disingenuous. Instead, the band freshens things up with the bold (and rare) choice of making a punk rock concept album. This narrative element really works for Dropkick Murphys, adding another layer of thematic unity that complements their sonic vision wonderfully. Going Out in Style also finds the band pulling out all the stops with a handful of guests lending their vocals to the band’s freewheeling anthems. Comedian and Rescue Me cast member Lenny Clarke drops in on “Going Out in Style” along with NOFX’s Fat Mike and the Living End’s Chris Cheney. The most surprising guest, however, arrives on “Peg o’ My Heart,” where the Boss himself, Bruce Springsteen, shows up to deliver a verse. With its combination of driving Celtic punk and strong narrative, Going Out in Style finds Dropkick Murphys succeeding on multiple levels, delivering an album that’s not only fun to pump your fists and sing along to, but also one that rewards repeated listens with its storytelling, making it an album that’s just as fun through headphones as it is when played at maximum volume in the car.
The hardcore punk/Celtic folk outfit Dropkick Murphys formed in South Boston in 1995; vocalist Mike McColgan, guitarist Rick Barton, and bassist Ken Casey comprised the original nucleus of the group, with a series of drummers passing through the lineup before the addition of Matt Kelly in 1997. After a series of EPs including Fire and Brimstone, Tattoos and Scally Caps, and Boys on the Docks, the Dropkick Murphys signed to Hellcat Records to issue their 1998 full-length Do or Die, produced by Rancid’s Lars Frederiksen; McColgan exited the group soon after (he later went on to form the like-minded Street Dogs) and was replaced by vocalist Al Barr for the follow-up, 1999’s The Gang’s All Here.
Mob Mentality, a split release with the Business, appeared in mid-2000, but at the same time the band was going through an extensive redesign. Their five-piece arrangement expanded into a septet, for Marc Orrell stepped in after original guitarist Rick Barton left the band to get married. James Lynch (guitar), Spicy McHaggis (bagpipes), and Ryan Foltz (mandolin) were also added to the line-up to enhance the band’s growling sound. Frederiksen, who produced the band’s first two albums, left the Dropkicks to venture out on their own for their third studio effort, Sing Loud, Sing Proud. Bassist Ken Casey took over, and the album, which featured collaborations with ex-Pogue Shane MacGowan and Cock Sparrer’s Colin McFaull, was issued in early 2001.
Their Irish pride shone through the next year, when Live on St. Patrick’s Day from Boston, MA was released in the summer. Recorded at the biggest Irish-American celebration of the year in a town known for its widespread Irish heritage, the set was a blistering example of their intense and lively gigs. As the band prepped for the annual Vans Warped Tour in summer 2003, they released Blackout in June; the album featured new bagpipe player Scruffy Wallace and accordionist Tim Brennan (who further took over mandolin and tin whistle after Foltz left following some touring). The Murphys reworked the Boston Red Sox anthem “Tessie” on their mid-2004 EP Tessie, which subsequently became the theme song to the Sox’s World Series run that year. Warrior’s Code followed in 2005, and one of its songs, “I’m Shipping Up to Boston,” was later used in the 2006 Martin Scorsese film The Departed. Soon after, the band recorded The Meanest of Times, a collection of songs about family loyalty, featuring guest appearances by Spider Stacy of the Pogues and Ronnie Drew of the Dubliners, released in mid-September 2007. In January 2008, however, Orrell announced his decision to leave the band in order to pursue other projects. Live on Lansdowne, Boston MA, a CD/DVD of tracks culled from 2009’s week of St. Patrick’s Day shows in Boston, was released in 2010. For their next studio album, the band looked inward to create a concept album, combining their own experiences to create the fictional character Cornelius Larkin. The result was their seventh album, Going Out in Style, which was released in 2011 on their Born & Bred label.