Dropkick Murphys "Blackout"
The Dropkick Murphys' uncompromising spirit and matchless energy surge through Blackout, the Boston-based, Celtic punk outfit's triumphant new album. From the urgent and irresistible opener "Walk Away" – which takes to task a father who abandons his family – to the superb, bagpipe doused blue collar homage "Worker's Song," the Dropkick Murphys continues to build off of the musical blueprint it began with back in 1996.
Perhaps the hard charging, chant along "Gonna Be A Blackout Tonight" best represents just how far the Dropkick Murphys have come. When approached a year ago by Woody Guthrie's daughter Nora with the prospect of putting some of her legendary father's unpublished lyrics to music, the net result was the fiery punk firecracker that became the title track to DKM's fourth studio set.
Rooted in the sounds of The Clash, The Pogues, AC/DC and Stiff Little Fingers, the Murphys started with humble but enthusiastic means, self releasing early recordings and touring to support them. Just two years later, the band's hard work aligned them with Hellcat Records, Tim Armstrong's new imprint for Brett Gurewitz's Epitaph label. The resulting Do or Die, produced by Armstrong's Rancid-mate Lars Fredriksen, lit the musical fuse that would soon explode inside the punk community. Chronicling DKM's innovative fusion of blistering rock & roll, melodic Irish folk, and a deep loyalty to the working class, Do or Die rendered sales of 150,000 largely due to word of mouth in the underground and forged a path in punk rock that turned a whole new generation of kids onto Celtic & traditional folk music although in this case with a much bigger kick in the ass!
Inspired by the overwhelming success of their Hellcat debut, which became a must have record for any self respecting punk fan, the Dropkick Murphys pointed their collective middle fingers sky high at mainstream radio's nay sayers and ploughed ahead with the following year's The Gang's All Here. Introducing the vocal exchanges of Al Barr and Ken Casey that would go on to signify the group's late model sound, DKM's second long player also represented its maturation as songwriters. A rigorous tour schedule followed, helping to expand the outfit's already sizable worldwide fanbase.
2001's ambitious Sing Loud Sing Proud incorporated more instrumentation than any previous effort. Defining the Murphys' position as leaders of a new sub-genre that could only be concocted in the heart of Boston, the disc's hometown anthems and whiskey soaked melodies earned the group even wider acclaim. Continuously surprising industry pundits by outdrawing even high profile mainstream acts as headliners on major tours and festival participants on four continents, DKM landed high profile slots on the Warped and Punk-O-Rama tours, plus achieving personal goals by performing at the Sex Pistol's infamous Silver Jubilee gig and on the Boston born Conan O'Brien Show in the wake of Sing Loud.
The Dropkick Murphys incendiary live performances were the subject of their next release, 2002's Live On St. Patrick's Day From Boston, MA. An exhibition of the group's infamous, annual homecoming gigs, these events find ale swilling hooligans standing alongside punk rock supporters of all ages. The concerts have become so popular, in fact, that 2003 saw the Murphys move an unprecedented 8,000 tickets for four shows, shattering the venue sales record previously held by the legendary Ramones.
With Blackout, the Dropkick Murphys deliver their finest record to date. No mere "punk rock" album, its lack of pretension and honesty puts it much closer to the works of Bragg, and even Springsteen. As impressively innovative and broad in musical scope as ever, Blackout finds DKM's persevering spirit and heartfelt approach to music omni-potent…………….BLACKOUT will be released on June 10th.