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Dropkick Murphys - The Gang's All Here

A Dropkick of Reality
by: smoke

Coming off of high reviews from the debut effort of the Dropkick Murphys, Do or Die, the sophomore effort, The Gang's All Here, comes with both high expectations and anticipation. Glowing reviews ranging from low-profile publications such as Gearhead and Mean Street to mainstream reviewing sources such as The Washington Post, as well as coming off of a major tour with the Mighty Mighty Bosstones, The Gang's All Here has a healthy head of steam driving before the CD even starts.

The release on Hellcat Records, featuring producing by Rancid's very own Lars Frederiksen, is a collection of 8 new tracks and 8 new versions of previously released material. For those familiar with Do Or Die, a difference comes quick due to the arrival of long-time friend, Al Barr, as new vocalist.

As the album jumps into the second track, "Blood and Whiskey" ( RealAudio Clip ), you realize how incredibly well (considering they only formed in 1996), the band meshes together by the way they combine raw energy with brilliantly precise rhythm section of bass and drum working together.

The "Fanfare of the Blue Collar" is revisited throughout the album, but perhaps most strongly in "10 Years of Service." ( RealAudio Clip ) "The Fighting 69th" ( RealAudio Clip ) shows the proud energy that only the Dropkick Murphy's have been able to harness. "Wheel of Misfortune" ( RealAudio Clip ) continues to impress with heartfelt lyrics of standing strong combined with strong heritage of traditional fiddle. The bhouys couldn't let down expectations from the last album by living up to Request magazine's "Cover of the Year" for Do or Die's "Finnegan's Wake" with a version of "Amazing Grace" ( RealAudio Clip ) which only the Dropkick Murphys could serve justice. What better way to close the album but with a tribute to brotherhood unity after life's hardships with a traditional drinking song-esque "The Gang's All Here."

The Gang's All Here is an album that you knew punk could still write, but just haven't heard in quite some time. It's about time that an album has been released that makes every soul feel proud to stand up with chin raised high, no matter what you're put through day-to-day.

"10 Years of Service" ( RealAudio )
"Amazing Grace" (
RealAudio )
"Blood and Whiskey" (
RealAudio )
"The Fighting 69th" (
RealAudio )
"Wheel of Misfortune" ( RealAudio )


Artist Dropkick Murphys
Album The Gang's All Here
Label Hellcat Records
Date 03.17.99
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Rating 4.0 out of 5.0