Scrolling Headlines:

UMass football selected to finish fourth in MAC East preseason poll -

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Legislature overrides Baker’s UMass budget cut -

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Report: UMass football’s Todd Stafford arrested Saturday morning in Stamford, Connecticut -

Monday, July 20, 2015

UMass names Molly O’Mara newly-created associate director of athletics for communications and PR -

Monday, July 20, 2015

Baker approves state budget, UMass to receive $5.25 million less than legislature’s proposed figure -

Friday, July 17, 2015

UMass bathroom policy to provide comfort, safety for transgender and non-gender conforming students -

Thursday, July 16, 2015

Long-time UMass professor Normand Berlin, 83, dies -

Wednesday, July 15, 2015

UMass professor and poet James Tate dies at 71 -

Thursday, July 9, 2015

State legislators propose budget, UMass could receive almost $532 million -

Wednesday, July 8, 2015

Cause of death determined for UMass student Chloe Malast -

Monday, July 6, 2015

Nick Mariano, Zach Oliveri transferring from UMass men’s lacrosse program -

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Four months after banning Iranian students from certain graduate programs, UMass announces new measures to ensure compliance with U.S. law -

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Justin King sentenced to eight to 12 years in prison -

Monday, June 29, 2015

Two future UMass hockey players selected in 2015 NHL Draft -

Saturday, June 27, 2015

Supreme Court ruling clears way for same-sex marriage nationwide -

Friday, June 26, 2015

Former UMass center Cady Lalanne taken 55th overall by Spurs in 2015 NBA Draft -

Friday, June 26, 2015

Second of four men found guilty on three counts of aggravated rape in 2012 UMass gang rape case -

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Boston bomber speaks out for first time: ‘I am sorry for the lives I have taken’ -

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

King claims sex with woman was consensual during alleged 2012 gang rape -

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Wrongful death suit filed in death of UMass student -

Thursday, June 18, 2015

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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