Still the rowdy Boston boys bringing their signature Celtic rock and punk-infused madness on the party scene (or crime scene, because why not?), the Dropkick Murphys are indeed back with 'Signed and Sealed With Blood'. The album even kicks off with The Boys Are Back, a celebratory jig of juvenile delinquency. But they're back! Hurrah!
Experimentation and tonal shifts are all well and good but that has the risk of going either which way – this hang up has no bearing on the Murphys' song writing. Prisoner's Song echoes the accordions and heavy set drums of perhaps their most well-known hit Shipping Off to Boston, featured in Martin Scorsese's The Departed, but sounds more like an alternate take than a clear lack of inspiration. Rose Tattoo mixes it up a bit, brandishing some dirty vocals, a delicate mandolin and some old-fashioned Irish pride – family, fighting, drinking, et al – intermixed with amusingly cute romance.
If Christmas songs have worn out their welcome in your heart, The Season's Upon Us will either make you smile or skip ahead. As a testament to their style, 'Signed and Sealed With Blood' appeals to new fans and old with its raucous melody and scandalously macho lyrics.