Dropkick Murphys

The Meanest Of Times

Written by: PP on 31/10/2007 03:48:20

A more appropriate title for Dropkick Murphys' sixth studio album "The Meanest Of Times" would be "The Funnest Of Times". This time around, there's less folk, more punk, and much more drinking by the sounds of it. As a response to the critics who gave the band some slack for their last two records "Blackout" and "The Warrior's Code" for being too slow and too folky, "The Meanest Of Times" sets out to bring back the best party band on the planet with a blast.

One of the reasons the last two albums were considered weak by many critics was that punk rock had been phased out in favor of a more folky sound. Though these are all distinctly punk rock songs, the band still isn't afraid to throw in traditional Irish instruments like the tin whistle, the bouzoki, or the accordion in the midst of the gang shouts and hardcore yells. It is essentially these elements that make Dropkick Murphy's sound what it is; hardcore punk with a distinctly Irish folk music twist to it. This is also why "The Meanest Of Times" works better than it's two predecessors. The band has brought back much of the punk rock into their sound without sacrificing the traditional instruments or the folky sound. In other words, the same folk songs as you heard on "Blackout" have been brought back in a revitalized format: there's more speed, more yelling, more gang vocals and more momentum.

So put on your best Celtic dress and dancing shoes, because bagpipes and mandolin accompany the band on a set of infectiously catchy set of songs about drinking, family, and friends. Pretty much every song has chorus you can sing along to, and the hardcore kids haven't been forgotten either on the many joyous gang vocals found all over the record. You'll find the whole band singing along to the lyrics on multiple songs in different voices, increasing the fun vibe the album's emitting left and right.

In short, Dropkick Murphys have done it again. The franchise stands strong (with a slight wobble here and there caused by countless pints of Guiness): "The Meanest Of Times" gives crown of the genre back to the band, at least until the next Flogging Molly record. Speaking of them, you thought they were catchy? "The Meanest Of Times" begs to differ.

Download: God Willing, The State Of Massachusetts, Flanningans Ball
For the fans of: Flogging Molly, Rancid, NOFX, Street Dogs
Listen: Myspace

Release date 18.09.2007
Born And Bred Records

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