Put ‘Em Down In Style
At some point in the late nineties, in an odd fit of angst-ridden millennialism, America’s perpetual chubby for all things Celtic flared up again. Those who thought the fad had died with Clannad and the Pogues found themselves inundated by Enya and, horror of horrors, Riverdance. It’s no surprise that the Dropkick Murphys were able to get famous when you take that into account: a way to “get your Celt on” while still seeming totally punk rock. Before you knew it, every douchebag you went to high school with suddenly had the shamrock shirt and sported it like they’d been into punk all along. Ten years, a major league baseball endorsement, and an Academy Award nomination later, we arrive at Going Out In Style. We can only hope that the title is a promise.
Touted as a concept album by both the band’s website and album liner notes, and narrating the trials and trevails of “Son of the Emerald Isle” Cornelius Larkin, the album’s only concept seems to be to try and say the name Cornelius at least once per song. Sonically, it’s the same old Dropkick Murphys song and dance: bagpipes blaring out as loud as possible to cover mediocre guitar riffs, lazy drumming, and Ken Casey blithering out the usual diatribe of having drunk too much whiskey, been oppressed by the English, and caused general mayem all over Boston, crescendoing in a mass of maudlin. Seriously, if you’ve bought at least one other Dropkick Murphy’s album, you’ve already heard Going Out in Style.
The sad fact remains that the Dropkick Murphys frankly don’t need to try anymore. Having cashed a fat royalty check from Martin Scorsese and lined up a sweet gig playing every major league game to come through Boston, the band’s become abundantly aware that they can do whatever the hell they want and they’ve got major corporate sponsorship to back it up. Besides, it’s not hard to write songs for an audience that’s been knocking back ten dollar Miller Lites since the second inning!