One of Boston’s signature groups has made a new album in tribute to Jack Sparrow. That’s right, ANOTHER one.
Born and Bred Records, 2013
6.0 / 10
Since being assigned the new album from Dropkick Murphys several weeks ago, I’ve had the chance to enjoy SIGNED and SEALED in BLOOD several times the whole way through. I’ll admit that at first I was willing to write it off as a crude album with little worth to mention. Now that it’s had the chance to settle into my eardrums and my psyche, I’m more willing to enjoy the album. Though it probably won’t make the end of the year list, it provides great fodder for live performances and holiday/sports commercials. The music is damn catchy, but those that enjoy analyzing an album’s lyrical content will likely find it annoying. My brother John will probably hate this album. There’s only so many times one can hear the same four words repeated consecutively.
The album opens with “The Boys Are Back”, which is a romp around the room jaunt about Dropkick Murphys reuniting and causing trouble in Boston. All I have to say about this is that you can definitely expect this song to be the Red Sox theme song for the next season. You heard it here first. “Prisoner’s Song” uses bagpipes to make a piratey organ song reminiscent of a stormy night at sea — so wretched you wish to see land. This mood continues on the next track, “Rose Tattoo”.
This next part is where I would normally go on to explain the the theme of this song and the following blah blahs. I will take a break from that pattern to instead explain that most of the songs you’ll hear on this album are fiercely similar to some other song you’ve heard before. “Rose Tattoo” and “Prisoner’s Song” are pirate songs. “Boys Are Back” and “Burn” are 80’s punk. “Jimmy Collins’ Wake” is Irish pirate music. “The Season’s Upon Us” is a pirate Christmas song. It’s worth noting that the prevailing tone over the entire album is Massachusetts; although, the Murphys never actually mention any other area than Boston. If you’re from Massachusetts, you’ll know what I’m talking about.
To continue, “The Battle Rages On” is a civil war pirate song. “Don’t Tear Us Apart” is a pirate song as written by Robert Smith and Andrew W.K. right down to the staccato piano. “My Hero” is a Foo Fighters, themed daddy love pirate song. “Out of our Heads” is a pirate song sung by the cast of Happy Days while “End of the Night” was sung by the cast of The Wonder Years. That will not be a music video worth looking forward to. Overall this album is very pirate, I mean fun. If you’re on a long car ride or are looking for a mindlessly good time, SIGNED and SEALED in BLOOD will fit perfectly. However, don’t listen to this album if you’re in an abusive relationship with any nouns. It’s likely to influence trouble.
As it is with some groups, it’s not the band that bothers me so much as its fans do. I really don’t need to hear about how amazing KoRn, Metallica, ICP, or Dropkick Murphys are. I’ve thought about all of those bands’ validity enough times to know its result is mind blowing headaches. I’m certainly willing to discover and explore other aspects and qualities of these groups, I’ll just never admit that they’re awesome without some caveat or sneer involved. My main gripe is that the band needs to start writing new songs. There is nothing on this album that brings the band nor the audience to a different place. My applause for the album lies in the fact that it’s insanely nostalgic, and I see them kicking the shit out of this album live.