DROPKICK MURPHYS ARE:
Al Barr - lead vocals
Tim Brennan - guitars, accordion, whistles and vocals
Ken Casey - bass guitar and lead vocals
Jeff DaRosa - banjo, bouzouki, mandolin, harmonica, acoustic guitars,
mondola and vocals
Matt Kelly - drums and vocals
James Lynch - guitars and vocals
Scruffy Wallace - bagpipes, whistles
Dropkick Murphys come out swinging on their eighth full-length album, "SIGNED and SEALED in BLOOD" [Born & Bred Records/ADA]. This time around, everything has been cranked up past 10. The guitars are ballsier, the gang vocals are louder, the hooks are catchier, the lyrics stop you in your tracks. The brashest moments of "SIGNED and SEALED in BLOOD" feel like the last 30 seconds of a Stanley Cup hockey game: frenetic, on the edge, dangerous. The softest songs are testaments to the values that pump through the Dropkicks' veins: family, neighborhoods, honor, respect, roots and remembering those who are gone. Every second of "SIGNED and SEALED in BLOOD" is evidence of one thing: Dropkick Murphys aren't just loud and brash, they're at the top of their game as songwriters.
Knowing this, it's no surprise upon hearing the opening line of the opening song: "The boys are back and they're looking for trouble." ...they most certainly are.
The Dropkicks' music is universal stuff. Songs for the common man, about common things, that come together with such fury and infectious melody that everyone within earshot is struck straight. Dropkick Murphys, as much as any of the 'punk' or 'blue collar' labels they've earned, are fantastic songwriters. They are on the same quest as their beloved Woody Guthrie or their buddy Bruce Springsteen: how to get that big truth to come out the other end of the speakers in a way people all over the world will feel in their bones.
"SIGNED and SEALED in BLOOD" is Dropkick Murphys at their universal best. "Our fans make us want to do this forever," smiles Casey. "They live and die by this band as much as we do. We know who we are, and we always have. The key to a good Dropkick Murphys record is to have a little bit of everything: it makes you want to laugh. It makes you want to cry. It makes you want to punch someone in the face. It makes you want to be happy. We put our hearts and souls into our music. We're very grateful that people respond."