Dropkick Murphys – The Meanest of Times

Dropkick Murphys – The Meanest of Times / 2007 Born & Bred / 15 Tracks / http://www.dropkickmurphys.com /

The star that the Dropkick Murphys are riding on is only reaching higher and higher altitudes. Their last album, “The Warrior’s Code”, sold around 20,000 copies. This time, “The Meanest of Times” has blown past that number and have firmly ensconced the Dropkick Murphys as perhaps the best known “Irish”-themed band, behind perhaps Flogging Molly and the Pogues. The first track on “The Meanest of Times” is “Famous for Nothing”, a track that immediately brings back all the power and the fury to individuals that may have forgotten exactly why the Dropkick Murphys sold so many copies of their last album.

“God Willing” is a perfect singalong track, with splashing guns and a set of bagpipes that will get individuals jigging like the best of them. The best thing about DKM during “The Meanest of Times” is their ability to create music that has been done to death, but do it in such a way that will keep individuals interested while still providing music that is fresh and compelling even to individuals that may not even be fans of the genre. “The State of Massachutsetts” is the band’s first bona fide hit; from the slightly harder (musically) opening of the track, DKM provide listeners every possible reason to listen in. The chorus will get stuck in listeners’ heads for weeks after the CD ends, while the rest of the instrumentation makes this into a track that is destined for a Tony Hawk game or featured spot on the X Games. “Echoes on “A” Street” continues this strong foot forward, but it is not only because DKM have thrown together another track that will stick around with listeners.

Rather, the band expands on the intricacy of the arrangements for this track, providing the framework for a track that individuals have to deconstruct to truly receive all the benefits from the song. This evolved state provides greater appreciation for the band; they are not now only a punk band that throws the same thing in the face of their listeners time after time, but they want to create music that will stand the test of time. While it seemed like for a time that the DKM had started to rest on their laurels a little bit, the steps forward that they took during “The Meanest of Times” show that there is still a considerable amount of fight left in this Irish-themed punk band.

Top Tracks: The State of Massachusetts, God Willing

Rating: 7.0/10

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Author: James McQuiston

Ph.D. in Political Science, Kent State University. I have been the editor at NeuFutur / neufutur.com since I was 15. Looking for new staff members all the time; email me if you are interested. Thanks!

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