Album – Going Out In Style
The Irish Punk-rock band released their seventh album under the name “Going Out In Style”. With more than over a 8 million rock bands out there , its hard to find the best 1s and Dropkick Murphys is undoubtedly one among them! Their charmingly devastating music is a perfect combination of strong vocals from Al Barr a powerful bass by Ken and exclusive chords by Brennan and of course the guitars by Lynch. The magical blend of Irish folk and punk rock is added by the bagpipes played by Wallace and drum beats by Matt.
After hearing this one may find it to be a concept album but that not entirely true! Or you could just say its a story told in the great storytelling tradition of the Irish and the story in this album is of Cornelius Larkin
|Hang ‘Em High|
|Going Out in Style|
|The Hardest Mile|
|Climbing a Chair to Bed|
|Deeds Not Words|
|Take ‘Em Down|
|Sunday Hardcore Matinee|
|Peg o’ My Heart|
|The Irish Rover|
The album sings an entertaining and celebratory eulogy for the imaginary character Larkin. The album portrays the story of Larkin having passed away and looking back at his life as an Irish immigrant from one side and a Korean war veteran from the other. The band didn’t entirely rely on their songs alone to tell the tale of Larkin but they also got the help of M.P MacDonald’s to write the obituary in the album’s notes.
The album starts with a vengeance filled track “Hang ‘Em High” in which the lead singer screams with murderous intensity. You can also find growling guitars and blood lust mob yelling “An honorable death for you would be too nice / I’d like to savor the moment and kill you twice”. The next song “Going Out In Style” conveys the part of the story where the album’s protagonist dreams about his grand funeral and how he longs to apologize to those he wronged!
With the next track the “Hardest Mile” an apt transition is noticed from their old world Irish folk to the punk infused music take over it! The mesmerizing tin whistle infused farewell to Larkin in the song “Cruel” and the flashing, canorous “Broken Hymn” stand out on the more traditional fare on the album!
The appropriate dropping in of the track “Take ‘em Down” plays the harmonica and banjo filled jangle and the traditional folk slant gives a spirited protest ready vibe with the lyrics “We’ve got to take the bastards down, let them know / We’ve got to smash them to the ground, let them know”
Teeth gnashing vocals and bemoaning bagpipes drive the track “Climbing A Chair To Bed” and a rapid fire beat of party centric music and flailing guitars in the track “Sunday Hardcore Matinee” delivers to more on the rock side in the album! With a part classic rock and roll and part foul-mouthed punk “Deeds not Words” is an angry song with singer looking for a fight “Where you gonna run to / Where you gonna hide / You’re running for the door now / No one’s getting out alive”. The mixing riffs, smooth mandolin and whistling of “Memorial Day” and the breaking acoustic and intertwined electric guitars “Peg O’ My Heart”, featuring the guest appearance from Bruce Springsteen, find these songs walking a fine line between the two worlds.
If you feel there is a fault in the album then you must be thinking this whole album tells less of a story and looks like a soundtrack to Larkin’s life! The bagpipe and acoustic guitar filled beautiful song “1953” is a rare exception in the album, leaving you wishing there was a bit more storytelling in the songs than you end up getting.
1. Hang ‘em High –
The album starts with an energy filled typical Murphys style song. A ling unforgettable anthem with a big bagpipe-filled sound and a fist thumping chorus.There on the album is a merciful good time one, laden with chant and anthem.
2. Going Out In Style –
The energy continues in the album with this song! There is enough diversity to the song arrangements that Going Out In Style never gets mired in just merely a “Celtic punk” vibe.
3. The Hardest Mile –
A high speed song which has the band’s signature rollicking tunes here and there! The song has good chant verses and makes a good anthem!
4. Cruel –
There are moments when the band allows sentimentality in the picture and this track is a strong example! It also explores the more traditional Irish music!
5. Memorial Day –
The banjo overshadows the bagpipes to attenuate the Celtic style! Fells more like a Mumford and Sons approach. Nevertheless its a powerful uplifting song,a tribute to anyone who have struggled for having something more in life!
6. Climbing a Chair to Bed –
Another emotional track in the band, very early placed soon after the track “Cruel” but amazing vocals and an inspiring verse! Bagpipes do their magic in this track too!
7. Broken Hyms –
A melodic track with an even more rhythmical drum beats. this track gives a whole new impression of the band to the listener!its melancholic and sweet with an uplifting vibe.
8. Deeds Not Words –
Another fast rolling track from the album! The song is laden with good chant verses and folklore music. Meant to leave you all happy and sweet at the song’s end!
9. Take ‘Em Down –
The track mainly focuses on the social stigma and unwavering support for organized labour! But the track is filled with soulful music and an unstoppable tune given the fact that they are singing “Let them know, we gotta take our bastards down.”
10. Sunday Hardcore Matinee –
The track is a slight deviant from the Larkin storyline but still has the enthusiasm and positivity stuck to the flow! A tribute to the band’s own growth and maturity that, as well as the band’s desire to hold on to the feelings and friendships forged back then is portrayed.
11. 1953 –
A slow moving and comfortable song built on a consistently solid bagpipe melody with harmonic vocals singing about Larkin’s return to fall in love!
12. Peg o’ My Heart –
A classical song remade with the boss Bruce Springsteen himself singing the track. The collaboration makes the song refreshing and vigorous! One of the fascinating additions to the album.
13. The Irish Rover –
Another traditional song about a magnificent sailing ship that meets an unfortunate end remade with changes in lyrics and with the best music from the band. A definite hear from the album!
All through the album, the band’s fast-paced energy is exploding so that some people might be able to feel as if they are watching the band perform live.By theend Going Out In Style is diverse and gets complex, portraying the evolution of the band but at no point leaving you feeling like they’ve sacrificed their energy, passion or punk due to age, popularity or any reason at all.If you’re not fond of Celtic punk or folk music in general – that would be the main reason for embracing Going Out In Style. But if you are fond of the Dropkick Murphys’ approach to their familial roots, the new record will be one that you’ll find extremely satisfying.