St. Patrick’s Day Special: Dropkick Murphys’ “Going Out in Style”

St. Patrick’s Day: Dropkick Murphys – Going Out in Style

Tracklist

  1. “Hang ‘Em High”
  2. “Going Out in Style”
  3. “The Hardest Mile”
  4. “Cruel”
  5. “Memorial Day”
  6. “Climbing a Chair to Bed”
  7. “Broken Hymns”
  8. “Deeds Not Words”
  9. “Take ‘Em Down”
  10. “Sunday Hardcore Matinee”
  11. “1953”
  12. “Peg o’ My Heart”
  13. “The Irish Rover”

About the album

Going Out in Style is the seventh studio release from Boston Celtic-punk rockers, the Dropkick Murphys. Released in 2011, Going Out in Style is the band’s best charting album, debuting at number 6 on the Billboard 200 in 2011. The album features guest appearances by Bruce Springsteen, NOFX vocalist Fat Mike, Chris Cheney from The Living End and actor/comedian Lenny Clarke. It is a concept album which revolves around the fictional character Cornelius Larkin, who eventually passes to the other side and reflects upon his life.

Thoughts the album

The album opens with a thunderous bang and is classic Murphys style in “Hang ‘Em High”. The drum roll and rolling guitar riff from soft to loud builds into a crescendo then bursts into a bagpipe fueled sound and fist-pumping chorus. It is an unforgettable anthem and DKM classic tune.

The energy from the bombastic and thunderous “Hang ‘Em High” drives right into the next song and title track, “Going Out in Style”. “Going Out In Style” is a fiery tune which showcases the band’s ability to bang out a guaranteed fan-favorite. It features guest appearances from NOFX’s Fat Mike, The Living End’s Chris Cheney and Boston comedian Lenny Clarke. “Going Out in Style,” the bagpipe-fueled hymn to the life and death of Cornelius Larkin will likely have the listener bouncing and shouting along to a chorus they don’t even know.

Next highlight from Going Out in Style is definitely “Memorial Day”. While “The Hardest Mile” and “Cruel” are far from forgettable those songs are just not on the same level. “Memorial Day” is led by a dynamic yet soulful whistle and mandolin, which makes it addictive and deceptively original. “Memorial Day” holds some of the Murphys most honest and stirring lyrics to date.

The Murphys tackle two traditional Irish folk tunes: “Peg O’ My Heart” and “The Irish Rover”. If you thought that the self-titled track, “Going Out in Style” was the only collaboration on this album… think again. The tradition Irish tune “Peg O’ My Heart” features none other than The Boss, Bruce Springsteen. The Boss lends his gravelly vocals to this rowdy reworking of the traditional love song, which does not disappoint.

Finally the gang from Boston, close out the album with the traditional Irish folk song, “The Irish Rover”. And it begs the question… why didn’t they take a stab at this one before? That said, it is a wee bit rough around the edges and probably could have swapped “Peg O’ My Heart” with this one, but it’s neither here nor there.

Conclusion

The Dropkick Murphys once again created a hit. It is Celtic punk mixed with hard folk rock at the highest level to create a highly enjoyable album that is chock full of songs that will please the hardcore fans, and gain new ones. Featuring some high caliber guests, Going Out in Style is definitely one everyone should have. While yes, there are some impressive guest musicians on the record, they honestly fall to the wayside when it comes down to it. In my opinion, it is all about the heart that is injected into every song that will instantly connect with the listener, and this is a band that has the musical chops to back it up.

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