The Warrior's Code – Dropkick Murphy's
CD Review by Fredrik Roberts

9/2005


         



Track listing
1.
Your Spirit's Alive
2.
Warrior's Code
3.
Captain Kelly's
Kitchen (Courtin'
in the Kitchen)
4.
Walking Dead
5.
Sunshine Highway
6.
Wicked Sensitive
Crew
7.
Burden
8.
Citizen C.I.A.
9.
  Green Fields of
France (No Man's
Land)
10.
  Take It and Run
11.
  I'm Shipping Up to Boston
12.
  Auld Triangle
13.
  Last Letter Home
14.
  Tessie

Label: Hellcat Records
Release Date:
June 21, 2005

 

   

One of the esteemed editors of this fine website once wrote that the Dropkick Murphys were 'basically a punk band with a bagpipe player". When I read it, I couldn't have disagreed more. Yes, the Dropkicks are a more intense blend of traditional Irish music and punk than The Pogues or Flogging Molly, but their roots run much deeper than simply having a piper in the band. The choice of material and themes that one finds in their music (both musically and lyrically), plus the overwhelming pride in their heritage and their beloved city of Boston, just scream out that the band is for real and deeply in tune with their history.

The new album, The Warrior's Code, exemplifies all of these ideas perhaps more than anything they've released in the past. From the rowdy sing along of "Sunshine Highway", to the sensitive ballad 'The Green Fields of France', to the humor of "Wicked Sensitive Crew" every song on the record is just another surprising twist and another memorable line. It's absolutely excellent.

Amongst the other highlights are a rough and tumble version of "The Auld Triangle" which rivals the more traditional Pogues version, and "I'm Shipping Up to Boston" which was written by the band based on some Woody Guthrie lyrics that the troubadour had never put to music. Those of you that heard the latter song on the Give Em The Boot IV compilation should note that this is a totally different version.

Then there's "The Last Letter Home' which closes out the album barring a bonus track. The song is based on the letters of Sgt. Andrew Farrar, a serviceman stationed in Iraq who was killed on his 31st birthday. In one of Sgt. Farrar's last letters home, he told his parents that if anything happened to him, he wanted the Dropkick Murphys' version of "Fields of Athenry" played at his funeral. In addition to writing this song about him, the band attended Farrar's funeral and played "Fields of Atherny" on the pipes. You can't make this stuff up.

Finally, there's the aforementioned bonus track, "Tessie". Being from New York, I could do without the song's pro-Red Sox message, complete with the play by play of them winning the World Series…..but being a guy that doesn't give much of a shit about baseball, I can deal with it.

If you're a fan of the Dropkicks, you should run out and buy this record now. It's as good or better than anything they've done before. If you don't know them, this is a great place to start. A+.




Editors Note: Just so no one kills me, when I said the Dropkicks were basically a punk band with a bagpipe player, I was simply describing how they differ from more traditional bands like The Pogues and Flogging Molly. The jist of the paragraph where I said it was that those three bands made up the three best Celtic Punk bands in the world . . . I'm a fan. – Mike D'Ariano

 
       


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