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Wednesday, 16 January 2013

Dropkick Murphys : Signed And Sealed In Blood video and review

There’s a secret formula to Ken Casey’s songwriting – and it works every time.

But don’t get the idea that it’s some trite, tried and tested trickery from a hit factory studio.

No, it’s much more basic than that. And it lies at the heart of every good song.

“My songs aim to tell you a life story in four minutes,” says the 43-year-old founder, bassist and singer with Dropkick Murphys.

“It’s as simple as that. A good story makes a good song.”

It’s a philosophy borne out as the the Boston paddy punks return to their breathtaking best.

After more considered concept album Goin’ Out In Style, it’s a raucous set that’ll prove a barnstormer when they hit the road again.

“The boys are back and they’re looking for trouble!” they holler at the outset – and from there on in it’s a wild night out.

Rose Tattoo, chosen as the single and more traditional than the rest, is close to Ken Casey’s heart.

It’s a story based on one of his own tattoos. It appears on his arm and is a memorial to his grandad, who raised Casey after his father died.

“He taught me most things that make me who I am today,” he says. “He was a big union guy in Boston.

“I just catch the tattoo out of the corner of my eye and it changes my mood when I think of him, and what a strong individual he was.”

Bizarrely, for a January release, there’s a Christmas song – the deliciously irreverent The Season’s Upon Us. The tarnished tinsel tale of festive family feuding is every bit as good as The Pogues’ Fairytale Of New York.

Elsewhere, Out On The Town channels 70s pop-rock – imagine Mud’s Tiger Feet, The Faces Ooh La La and a ceilidh band – while Out Of Our Minds is all pipes, mandolin, power chords and post-punk punch.

This may just be the Murphys’ best album yet, although there’s not a song to really rival their hallmark I’m Shipping To Boston.

Catch them live at Nottingham’s Rock City tomorrow night (January 17).

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