April 18, 2014

Scrolling Headlines:

John Ashcroft faces criticism during speech -

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Student rally in support of Gordon, LGBTQ community -

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Thousands gather in Amherst Commons for 23rd Annual Extravaganja -

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Sexual violence is not ‘normal’ -

Thursday, April 17, 2014

One year after Boston Marathon bombings, UMass doctor Pierre Rouzier continues passion to help -

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Photo Slideshow: UMass United Rally -

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Get Yourself Tested at UMass -

Thursday, April 17, 2014

UMass football continues move in new direction in annual Spring Game -

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Library labyrinth targets stress -

Thursday, April 17, 2014

There is nothing to debate about global warming -

Thursday, April 17, 2014

UMass hits the road to take on LaSalle -

Thursday, April 17, 2014

No. 11 UMass women’s lacrosse looks to extend winning streak against Richmond -

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Southeastern Conference commissioner Mike Slive latest McCormack Executive-in-Residence -

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Got a little Irish in you? -

Thursday, April 17, 2014

UMass doctoral student awarded Soros Fellowship -

Thursday, April 17, 2014

UMass Dressage Team discusses the lesser-known sport -

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Canelas: Things worth watching in Spring Game 2014 -

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

‘The Walking Dead’ finale resurrects a dull season -

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Five places to study at UMass -

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

UMass tennis team battles injuries as season comes to an end -

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Dropkick Murphys release delightful new album

Flickr/Adam Brown!

Keeping their unique bagpipe-laced folk punk sound intact, the members of the Dropkick Murphys have taken a big step forward with their style of playing on their eighth and newest album, “Sealed and Signed in Blood.”

Perhaps Massachusetts’ biggest punk rock product to make it to the mainstream, the Dropkick Murphys rose to prominence with the song that has become the unofficial theme of many Boston-based sports teams – “I’m Shipping up to Boston.”

The group’s last album was a much more creative and somber affair focused on storytelling. The band seems to have taken a break from that by writing only upbeat, sing-along songs this time around.

“The Boys Are Back” is the first song on the album, and it foreshadows the party that is about to follow. The bagpipes, played by the highly talented Josh “Scruffy” Wallace, are as strong as ever. Dropkick Murphys really have stayed true to Celtic roots.

“The Season’s Upon Us,” however, is easily the best song on the album. A roaring tribute to the Christmas spirit, it features a very catchy medley of bagpipes with comical lyrics to accompany it.  Don’t be surprised if it joins the already enormous list of Christmas must-have songs.

Another highlight on the track list is “Jimmy Collins’ Wake,” featuring a wonderful banjo backdrop by band member Jeff DaRosa. All the vocalists have a ball on this track, and the result is a potpourri of harmonies, not exactly the strength of most punk rock bands.

“End of The Night” is a surprise gem right at the end of the album, and it is a nice way to round up the record. A slower song, it is the biggest deviation from the “typical” Dropkick Murphys style, but shows that the band has more than one weapon in its arsenal. In fact, it is good enough that it makes the listener want more like it in the future. The Dropkick Murphys have been around for over a decade, and now would be a good time for the group to expand its repertoire of sounds if it wants to stay a force in the rapidly changing world of rock music.

It is worth mentioning that “Sealed and Signed in Blood” is still musically complex, but it can be hard to decipher all the noises that are behind the lyrics. Most common laptop speakers, for example, will not give off the most accurate impression of how well the band members synchronize their instruments.

Make sure to check out the album, as it has something for both hardcore fans and those who have yet to experience the band. People who do not take to this album probably will not enjoy Dropkick Murphys’ older work either, but this is the best and most refined the group has ever sounded.

Ayush Kumar can be reached at ayush@student.umass.edu.

 

 

 

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