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The Meanest of Times (Deluxe Edition)

Dropkick Murphys

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Album Review

Dropkick Murphys are a band closely tied to their roots in Boston, proud products of a working-class neighborhood where kids suffered through Catholic school, grew up to be regulars in the local bar, and watched their friends do the exact same thing. Life wasn't always easy, and it's in these moments of hardship that many of the tracks on The Meanest of Times find their muse. The record is a dark, passionate, and rousing collection of songs that fit in nicely with the Murphys' unfailing back catalog of gritty beer-soaked punk rock anthems. But even in its consistency with everything else the Beantown crew has ever released, The Meanest of Times stands tall as the band's tightest and most developed set of songs yet. With such ease, the Murphys combine eyes-wide observation, rough defiance, and emotion rubbed raw into heartfelt songs like the explosive opening duo of "Famous for Nothing" and "God Willing," where elegiac bagpipes coexist with searing guitars and delicate mandolins supplement aggressive drum rolls. Traditional songs also get model Murphy makeovers; "Spancil Hill" gets Boston-ized into the mournful "Fairmount Hill," while "Lannigan's Ball" takes a nice shot of punk rock adrenaline to turn it into the clamorous romp of "(F)lannigan's Ball," complete with guest vocals from the Pogues' Spider Stacy and the Dubliners' Ronnie Drew. Elsewhere — in varying degrees of unrestrained energy and sore-throat shout-singing — the crew relates tales of families broken and friends lost, the sad realities only proving further that above all else, it's being true to yourself and the ones you love that is most important. But it's not all just heartfelt sappiness; this is the Dropkick Murphys, so be assured the emotion is still packed into about 45 minutes of beer-sloshing riotous punk rock glory. [This edition of The Meanest of Times includes a bonus track.]

Customer Reviews

Have the Murphys ever had a bad album?

The album has a little bit of everything for the Dropkick fan...Seems like the pipes are back a lot more since Warriors Code...and they've really infused some more of the Irish-style in to this album overall, It's a must have

Start the party, grab the beer

Awesome celticpunkrock. St. Pats comes early when you got the DKM. If your only going to try a few tracks, may I suggest; The State of Massachusetts, Vices and Virtues, Loyal to No One, uhh forget it they are all good, get the album!

Just can't get into it...

Long time fan....just can't get into this album (and I've had it for about 6 months). There's a couple decent songs. It might just be me though; this album is highly regarded by Rolling Stone (and I've find their musical insights the past x years to be pretty much always bang on).

Biography

Formed: 1995 in Boston, MA

Genre: Alternative

Years Active: '90s, '00s, '10s

The hardcore punk/Celtic folk outfit Dropkick Murphys formed in South Boston in 1995; vocalist Mike McColgan, guitarist Rick Barton, and bassist Ken Casey comprised the original nucleus of the group, with a series of drummers passing through the lineup before the addition of Matt Kelly in 1997. After a series of EPs including Fire & Brimstone, Tattoos & Scally Caps, and Boys on the Docks, the Dropkick Murphys signed to Hellcat Records to issue their 1998 full-length Do or Die, produced by...
Full bio