When Dropkick Murphys are at their best, they are unbeatable. Even when they aren't, they are never boring. Here, on Signed and Sealed in Blood, they are phenomenal. They make you want to dance, and make you want to fight. They make you want to embrace your family and punch out your enemies. Mostly, though, they make you exhilarated, excited, and very, very happy.
According to the press release, the band took a break from touring this past spring and spent time in a warehouse/rehearsal space in South Boston to write the songs for this album. They were on fire with creativity, cranking everything up and blending their traditional guitars and acoustic instruments into what has turned out to be one tremendous musical result.
The themes of the CD are familiar to every follower of the band: solidarity, community, family, respect for the past, honor, respect, and in-your-face bravado.
The first song on the CD, "The Boys are Back," pretty well says it all. This is rock meant to be sung for and with a crowd, and it puts everyone on notice that "[t]he boys are back, and looking for trouble." And that is just the way the fans want it.
Next is "The Prisoner's Song," which reflects that Celtic feel that Dropkick Murphys always weave into their work, and speaks of the yearning for a day "where the ship comes in." "Don't Tear Us Apart" is a plea for unity, a wish for someone to come and restore our faith, and an affirmation: "You won't tear us apart."
"My Hero" honors the memory of a father and shows respect and love for a strong guiding hand. It has that same mix of tough sound and loving lyrics that are so much a part of the band.