Dropkick Murphys Album Review
Signed and Sealed in Blood
The Dropkick Murphys earned their legendary status by being a band that creates good songs without the flash or frippery. The proud Boston natives’ eighth release, Signed and Sealed in Blood, is no exception.
The sons of Boston were back to business on this album, doing what they do best: writing catchy punk songs infused with Celtic melodies and collective vocals that make me want to go to a local drinking establishment and engage in a good old-fashioned bar fight. Of course, I’m just joking…but not really — that actually happened. But now, I digress.
There is no shortage on the punk as Tedd Hutt returns after producing the Dropkick Murphys’ previous release, Going Out in Style, to deliver on the punk rock sound he has made his bread and butter for over a decade. Hutt has produced bands like the Bouncing Souls, Flogging Molly and the Gaslight Anthem.
Signed and Sealed in Blood is filled to the brim with raging, distorted guitar, sweeping keyboards, well-placed accordion, jumpy mandolin/banjo riffs, and of course, angry Irishmen shouting harmoniously like howling wolves at a full moon. With more pros than cons, Signed and Sealed in Blood is a good album written by a good band.
Bassist/Vocalist Ken Casey said, “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."
While the album is solid, it is not without its faults. Halfway through the tracklist, the energy begins to dwindle down as the formula begins to become a bit repetitive. Even though there are more good songs than bad, you can’t help but feel the album could’ve been much more. The album closer, End of the Night, makes up for the loss of momentum while paralleling their other well known bar ballad, Kiss Me, I’m Shitfaced. It is “The closing time, kind of loser's anthem, about people who don't want to go home," Casey said.
Signed and Sealed in Blood is an album worth listening to as well as some of the best work that the Dropkick Murphys have produced to date. What’s unfortunate is that an album of this caliber most likely won’t get the attention or recognition it deserves. The silver lining is that it will still be appreciated. Just ask Dropkick Murphy fans — or you could just ask the city of Boston.
Top Tracks: The Boys Are Back, Prisoner's Song, Rose Tattoo, Out of Our Heads, End of the Night