taking a listen

by Ryan Snyder


reviews of local & state music CDs

THE DROPKICK MURPHYS Live on Lansdowne, Boston MA

Welcome to the soundtrack for your St. Patty’s Day. Boston’s own masters of Celt-punk mayhem the Dropkick Murphys ( already have one live album under their kilts, 2002’s Live on St. Patrick’s Day From Boston, MA and since then, their epic hometown runs have become a holiday institution. With an entirely different track listing, save for the ever-uniting “Forever,” Live on Lansdowne, Boston MA sees the band at the height of their glory on the day everyone’s a little bit Irish. Recorded over six days in 2009, this record is every bit as loud as one might expect from their imitable live performances. The music is drawn mostly from their past three studio discs — Blackout, The Warrior’s Code and The Meanest of Times — but the drunken, balls-to-the-wall vibe still rules. From the moment opener “Famous for Nothing” takes hold, the album is relentlessly anthemic. Every track is a boozy sing-along, particularly for fans of Boston-area sports, as the propaganda runs heavy in Bruins’ tribute “Time to Go” and the oversaturated Red Sawks hymn “Tessie.” There are favorites like “Kiss Me, I’m Shitfaced” “Fields of Athenry” and some of their more obscure gems with “The Worker’s Song” and “Caught in a Jar,” but the common thread between all is the album’s reverence for beer-guzzling debauchery. The gravelly barks of Al Barr and Ken Casey bellow from the stacks of Marshall amps as the Murphs blaze through the screaming, Sex Pistols-like punk of “Flannigan’s Ball” and “Citizen CIA.’” There are guests aplenty for this one, as Civet’s Liza Graves sings vocals on “The Dirty Glass.” The album comes to a roaring conclusion as the Mighty Mighty Bosstones join the band for the Murphys’ cover of Woody Guthrie’s timeless “Shipping Up to Boston,” a track that came to prominence after Martin Scorsese handpicked it for inclusion in his Boston crime classic The Departed. The CD can be purchased separately, but for lovers of the Murphys’ animalistic, take-no-prisoners mannerisms, the double-disc digipack of CD and DVD is suggested because the DVD drops you smack into the middle of the frenzied crowd-surfing and insane sing-alongs. Unless you’re making the trek to Boston to see them do it in person, this CD/ DVD combo represents your best bet to hear and see them in all their sweaty glory.

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