You can take the Dropkick Murphys out of Boston, but you can't take the Boston out of Dropkick. Venturing to Texas to record their latest batch of Irish punk sing-a-longs, a first for the band, Ken Casey, and Co. returns with their first album since 2013, 11 Short Stories of Pain & Glory.
Kicking things off with a traditional Irish tune, "Lonesome Boatman", Short Stories makes it's huge sound known. The production on the record is a bit of a departure from albums past, but the sound and message are undeniably Dropkick. With new anthems such as "First Class Loser" and "Rebels With a Cause", the band gives their fans plenty of songs to scream along to.
Reflection is a reoccurring theme throughout. "Sandlot" marches along through memories of the bands' youth. While "Paying My Way" plays like a celebration of survival and dedication.
The pace changes a bit towards the albums later tracks. "4-15-13", a tribute to the tragedy that struck their hometown during the Boston Marathon, is a cry for tolerance and mourning of innocence lost. With the lyrics, "We're all just people trying to make our way", we are reminded that we all share our town, our country, and our world. We come from different backgrounds, but we are all connected through adversity.
As vulnerable as an addicts' cry for help, "You'll Never Walk Alone" has Casey answering that call with his remarkable vocal tone and range.
11 Short Stories... holds it's own place within the bands almost 20 year discography. While the band has grown and evolved, in members and sound, they have always been true to themselves, and their fans. Never shying away from their musical and hometown roots, this album IS Dropkick Murphys. Unapologetic. Punk. Boston.