The Music Box: Dropkick Murphys’ “Going Out In Style” Is A Family Affair

Tracklisting:

  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 (feat. Bruce Springsteen)
  13. The Irish Rover

Release Date: 3/1/11

The Band:

Photo by Kerry Brett

“The working class,” said Scruffy Wallace, the Dropkick Murphys‘ bagpipe maestro, at last year’s Bonnaroo Music & Arts Festival, “it’s an honest way to make a living.  Your family and your friends are number one.  There’s nothing more important than the people that have surrounded you and the people that have worked to help give you what you have.  We stay very true to those ideas and very dedicated to our fans because they are the people that make us what we are.  Everything we produce is for them and because of them.  We try to stay true to who we are as people and the music follows suit.”

Boston’s favorite sons embarked on a musical journey 15 years ago with those principles in mind and through all the stylistic developments and lineup alterations, the one constant, besides the band’s founder, Ken Casey, has been an everpresent guiding force of community fortitude and growth, and the collective’s seventh studio release, Going Out in Style, stays true to that vision. The Review:

Photo by Kerry Brett

 

While The Murphy’s brethren in Celtic-Punk tunes, the Los Angles outfit Flogging Molly, have compromised their rustic and Folky sound with the glitz and glam brought about by a wild eyed focus on radio play and possible stardom, the Beantown head bangers have churned out another collection of tracks that will undoubtedly be this Summer’s soundtrack on Lansdowne Street.

During Going Out In Style’s title track, Ken Casey fantasizes about his last day of life in which he decides to party with his friends, family, and neighbors, as well as Bobby Orr, Van Morrison, and Fat Mike of NOFX, who would front a band of bass players and troubadours well into the night.  This track will explode from the speakers of the Caskn’ Flagon and The Bleacher Bar, as belligerent Bostonians, swinging their pints too and fro, belt the chorus of the celebratory anthem…”You can bury me with enemies, among calvary/You can stack me on a pire, and soak me down in whiskey/Roast me to a blackened crisp and toss me in a pile/I can really give a shit, I’m goin’ out in style!”

And don’t be surprised if at 2:05 p.m. on April 8th, the Red Sox emerge from belly of the great brown brick beast that is Fenway Park to the record’s opening salvo, “Hang ‘Em High,” an all for one and one for all-type tale in which a certain band of brothers finds itself up against the world in a fight to the death.  In fact, the Boston Bruins have already adopted the fight song as its own entrance theme.

The most relevant track to this blog is the hidden gem at the end dubbed “Peg O My Heart,” the Murphys’ take on a tune penned more than a century ago in which Ken Casey, in his high-pitched Irish brogue, trades verses with Bruce Springsteen, who’s raspy croon works perfectly, begging the question, why hasn’t the Boss dabbled in Punk-Rock before?

Going Out In Style is a lot like the aforementioned party Casey and the gang fantasize about.  There are blue collar songs for the working man (“Hardest Mile,” “Cruel,” “Take ‘Em Down”), revolutionary tunes (“Memorial Day,” “Broken Hymns”), and of course the barroom hymnals (“Climbing A Chair To Bed,” “Sunday Hardcore Matinee,” “The Irish Rover”), but above all else there is an overwhelming feeling of association, of belonging to something greater than yourself.  The Dropkick Murphys have become more than a band, and its supporters more than a fan-base.  This is a coalition, a family, and Going Out In Style is its crest.

The Rating: 4.5/5

About rote7123

Chris graduated from The College Of New Jersey in May 2011 with a Bachelor Degree in Journalism and Professional Writing, as well as a degree in Communication Studies. He has held down a position in the Asbury Park Press’ Sports Department since September of 2010 and is a contributor to the outlet's Arts & Entertainment section, and has contributed to The Aquarian Weekly all while being the sole operator of Asbury Park's premier music news outlet Speak Into My Good Eye.
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One Response to The Music Box: Dropkick Murphys’ “Going Out In Style” Is A Family Affair

  1. Pingback: Speakend Playlist (2/25/22 – 2/28) | Speak Into My Good Eye

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