United Defiance Debuts ‘Sing With Me’ Video

Courtesy: Thousand Islands Records

Punk rock band United Defiance debuted the video for its latest single this week.

The band premiered the video for its single, ‘Sing With Me‘ Friday. The premiere comes less than a month after the band premiered the song by itself.

The song is featured in the band’s forthcoming album, Change the Frequency, which is scheduled for release Oct. 1 through Thousand Islands Records.

The video features the band performing its new single on a city street. It intersperses that with footage of the band fighting a turf war with a group of sock puppets. While the visualization is silly, the band explained in a prepared statement that it is meant to help translate the positive message presented in the song’s lyrical theme.

“The concept for the ‘Sing With Me’ video was to show two rival groups, like the Sharks and the Jets from West Side Story, playing pranks on each other in the tradition of films like Animal House,” the statement reads. “One of those groups just happens to be sock puppets. Because the song is about unity, the video shows that at the end of the day, you can always make the choice to buy the other guy a drink and have a blast in spite of differences. And sock puppets are funny as hell.”

The musical arrangement featured in ‘Sing With Me’ is a catchy, infectious, guitar-driven composition. Its choruses, with their collective vocals, and the gritty but still catchy verses lend the arrangement overall to works from the likes of NOFX, Me First and the Gimme Gimmes, and to a slightly lesser extent, Dropkick Murphys.

Change the Frequency will feature guest appearances from well-known names in the punk community, such as Jason Devore (Authority Zero) and Dave Pederson (Downway) among others.

More information on United Defiance’s new single and album is available along with all of the band’s latest news at:

Websitehttps://uniteddefiance.bandcamp.com

Facebookhttps://www.facebook.com/Uniteddefiance

To keep up with the latest entertainment news and reviews, go online to https://www.facebook.com/philspicks and “Like” it. Fans can always keep up with the latest entertainment news and reviews in the Phil’s Picks blog at https://philspicks.wordpress.com.

Riot Fest 2021 Lineup Finalized

Courtesy: Western Publicity

The official lineup for this year’s Riot Fest has been finalized.

The 2021 Riot Fest is scheduled to take place Sept. 16-19 at Douglass Park in Chicaco, IL. The whole thing kicks off the evening of Sept. 16 with performances by the likes of Alkaline Trio, Patti Smith and her Band, and Morrissey.

Sept. 17 is the first, full, official date of music for this year’s festival. It features performances from a wide range of acts, such as Smashing Pumpkins, NOFX, and Anti-Flag.

Dropkick Murphys, Rancid, and Living Colour join the likes of Mighty Mighty Bosstones, Run The Jewels, and Gwar for the second day of this year’s Riot Fest lineup.

Sunday will see just as many and varied acts taking the stage. Among the most notable of the performances planned to close out this year’s festival are those from the likes of Slipknot, Simple Plan, and Body Count. The Flaming Lips will take the place of Pixies following that band’s recent announcement that it was halting its tour plans due to concerns about the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

The full lineup for this year’s Riot Fest is noted below.

THURSDAY, SEPTEMBER 16
MORRISSEY, ALKALINE TRIO, PATTI SMITH AND HER BAND, JOYCE MANOR (performing S/T), WDRL, KRISTEEN YOUNG

FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 17
THE SMASHING PUMPKINS, COHEED AND CAMBRIA, LUPE FIASCO (performing The Cool), NOFX, DIRTY HEADS, SUBLIME WITH ROME, CIRCLE JERKS, DINOSAUR JR., MOTION CITY SOUNDTRACK, THRICE, CIRCA SURVIVE, MEG MYERS, THE LAWRENCE ARMS, BEACH BUNNY, ANTI-FLAG, LIVING COLOUR, FISHBONE, ENVY ON THE COAST, THE SOUNDS, AMIGO THE DEVIL, EYEDRESS, BEACH GOONS, MEET ME @ THE ALTAR, SERATONES, RADKEY, KISSISSIPPI, JACKIE HAYES, OXYMORRONS, GIRLPUPPY, SEŃOR KINO

SATURDAY, SEPTEMBER 18
RUN THE JEWELS, FAITH NO MORE, DROPKICK MURPHYS, RANCID, TAKING BACK
SUNDAY, VIC MENSA, GOGOL BORDELLO, MAYDAY PARADE, BAYSIDE, STATE CHAMPS, THE MIGHTY MIGHTY BOSSTONES, ANDREW W.K., BEST COAST, BIG FREEDIA, GWAR, HEPCAT, LES SAVY FAV, THE BRONX, FOUR YEAR STRONG, CITIZEN, FUCKED UP, JOYWAVE, NIGHT MOVES, MAN ON MAN, THE BOLLWEEVILS, ACTION/ADVENTURE, GANSER, JUST FRIENDS, THE ORPHAN THE POET, BEARINGS, SPIDER, DEVON KAY & THE SOLUTIONS

SUNDAY, SEPTEMBER 19
SLIPKNOT, MACHINE GUN KELLY, THE FLAMING LIPS, DEVO, MR. BUNGLE, NEW FOUND GLORY, SIMPLE PLAN, THE GHOST INSIDE, BODY COUNT, THURSDAY, K.FLAY, KNUCKLE PUCK, HEALTH, THE BLED, MOTHER MOTHER, 3OH!3, ALEX G, FEVER 333, KENNYHOOPLA, BLEACHED, THE GORIES, FACS, RATBOYS, BLACKSTARKIDS, THE CLOCKWORKS, PET SYMMETRY, MELKBELLY, GYMSHORTS, THE WEAK DAYS, AIRSTREAM FUTURES

Tickets for Riot Fest 2021 are available here.

More information on this year’s Riot Fest is available along with all of the festival’s latest news at:

Website: https://www,riotfest.org

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/RiotFest1

To keep up with the latest entertainment news and reviews, go online to https://www.facebook.com/philspicks and “Like” it. Fans can always keep up with the latest entertainment news and reviews in the Phil’s Picks blog at https://philspicks.wordpress.com.

United Defiance Announces New Album Details; Premieres Album’s Lead Single

Courtesy: Thousand Islands Records

Punk rock band United Defiance will release its new album this fall.

The band is scheduled to release its new album, Change the Frequency Oct. 1 through Thousand Islands Records. A vinyl release for the album is scheduled to take place in 2022. In anticipation of the album’s release, the band premiered the album’s lead single, ‘Sing With Me‘ Monday.

The musical arrangement featured in ‘Sing With Me’ is a catchy, infectious, guitar-driven composition. Its choruses, with their collective vocals, and the gritty but still catchy verses lend the arrangement overall to works from the likes of NOFX, Me First and the Gimme Gimmes, and to a slightly lesser extent, Dropkick Murphys.

No information was provided about the song’s lyrical theme in the press release announcing the single’s debut. However, in listening to the song, the theme comes across as a message celebrating unity, friendship and just coming together in general.

Change the Frequency will feature guest appearances from well-known names in the punk community, such as Jason Devore (Authority Zero) and Dave Pederson (Downway) among others.

More information on United Defiance’s new single and album is available along with all of the band’s latest news at:

Website: https://uniteddefiance.bandcamp.com

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Uniteddefiance

To keep up with the latest entertainment news and reviews, go online to https://www.facebook.com/philspicks and “Like” it. Fans can always keep up with the latest entertainment news and reviews in the Phil’s Picks blog at https://philspicks.wordpress.com.

Dropkick Murphys Debuts ‘H.B.D.M.F.’ Video

Courtesy: Born & Bred Records

Dropkick Murphys kicked off the weekend with a new music video.

The band debuted the video for its latest single, ‘H.B.D.M.F.’ Friday. The song is the latest single from the band’s latest album, Turn Up That Dial, which was released April 30 through the band’s own label, Born & Bred Records.

The premiere of ‘H.B.D.M.F.’ follows that of the album’s other singles, ‘Middle Finger,‘  ‘Smash S*** Up,’ ‘Mick Jones Nicked My Pudding,’ and ‘I Wish You Were Here.’ The musical arrangement featured in ‘H.B.D.M.F.’ is a gentle ballad type song that the band’s established audiences will find quite familiar, even with its own unique identity. It is one of those songs that will have audiences clasping one another’s shoulders, singing in unison, as they sway back and forth to the music.

The video for ‘H.B.D.M.F.’ finds the band singing its new single on a stage in front of an audience of puppets. Many of those puppets are figures that audiences might recognize from Dropkick Murphys’ recent livestream event, Dropkick Murphys St. Patrick’s Day Stream 2021…Still Locked Down, and from the album release party for Turn Up That Dial.

Dropkick Murphys founder and co-vocalist Ken Casey talked about the video’s creation during a recent interview.

“We had to learn to get creative making videos during the COVID restrictions,” he said. “We had to think outside the box, but it led to some really hilarious stuff like this video.”

In other news, Dropkick Murphys is gearing up for a tour with Rancid. The tour, dubbed the “Boston To Berkeley Tour II”, is scheduled to launch Aug. 10 and to run through Oct. 16. The tour’s schedule is noted below.

DateCityVenue
Tue. 8/10Waite Park, MNThe Ledge Amphitheater – Waite Park
Wed. 8/11Kansas City, MOGrinders
Fri. 8/13Lincoln, NELincoln On The Streets
Sat. 8/14Wichita, KSWave
Sun. 8/15Sauget, ILPop’s Outside
Tue. 8/17Washington, PAWild Things Park
Wed. 8/18Cincinnati, OHThe ICON Festival Stage at Smale Park
Fri. 8/20Gilford, NHBank Of New Hampshire Pavilion 
Sat. 8/21Worcester, MAThe Palladium Outdoors
Sun. 8/22Lewiston, NYArtpark Amphitheater
Mon. 8/23Columbus, OHEXPRESS LIVE! – Outdoors 
Wed. 8/25Richmond, VAVirginia Credit Union Live! 
Fri. 8/27Asbury Park, NJStone Pony Summerstage 
Sat. 8/28New York, NYForest Hills Stadium 
Tue. 8/31Philadelphia, PASkyline Stage @ Mann Music Center 
Wed. 9/1Bridgeport, CTHartford Health Care Amphitheater in Bridgeport
Thu. 9/16Milwaukee, WIBMO Harris Pavilion (Summerfest) *
Fri. 9/17Des Moines, IALauridsen Amphitheater at Water Works Park #
Sat. 9/18Chicago, ILDouglass Park (Riot Fest) *
Fri. 9/24Nashville, TNAscend Amphitheater +
Sat. 9/25Atlanta, GAAtlanta Civic Center – Outdoors +
Mon. 9/27Corpus Christi, TXConcrete Street Amphitheatre
Tue. 9/28Grand Prairie, TXTexas Trust CU Theatre at Grand Prairie
Wed. 9/29Oklahoma City, OKThe Zoo Amphitheatre
Fri. 10/1Denver, COMission Ballroom Outdoors
Sat. 10/2Sandy, UTU of U Health Plaza Rio Tinto Stadium
Mon. 10/4Nampa, IDFord Idaho Center Amphitheater
Tue. 10/5Seattle, WAWAMU Theater
Thu. 10/7Palo Alto, CAFrost Amphitheater
Fri. 10/8Sacramento, CADiscovery Park (Aftershock) *
Sat. 10/9Santa Ana, CAObservatory OC Festival Grounds
Sun. 10/10San Diego, CAGallagher Square at Petco Park San Diego
Tue. 10/12Mesa, AZMesa Amphitheatre
Wed. 10/13Paso Robles, CAVina Robles Amphitheatre
Fri. 10/15Las Vegas, NVTheater at Virgin Hotels Las Vegas
Sat. 10/16Los Angeles, CAShrine LA Outdoors
   
* Festival date 
+ without The Bronx, opener TBA   
# Dropkick Murphys with The Mighty Mighty Bosstones & Jesse Ahern 

More information on Dropick Murphys’ new tour dates and album is available along with all of Dropkick Murphys’ latest news at:

Websitehttps://www.dropkickmurphys.com

Facebookhttps://www.facebook.com/DropkickMurphys

Twitterhttps://twitter.com/DropkickMurphys

More information on Rancid’s upcoming tour dates is available along with all of the band’s latest news at:

Websitehttps://www.rancidrancid.com

Facebookhttps://www.facebook.com/rancid

Twitterhttps://twitter.com/rancid

To keep up with the latest entertainment news and reviews, go online to https://www.facebook.com/philspicks and “Like” it. Fans can always keep up with the latest entertainment news and reviews in the Phil’s Picks blog at https://philspicks.wordpress.com.

Punk Purists Will Enjoy Steadfast’s Latest LP

Courtesy: Pine Box Derby

Almost a year ago to the day, independent punk rock outfit Steadfast released its then latest album, Transmitters through Pine Box Derby.  The problem is that because of the COVID-19 pandemic, its release never really got the distribution and coverage that it otherwise could have had.  To that end, Pine Box Derby is giving the album a new push to punk rock fans worldwide.  Those audiences are certain to appreciate this new record in part because of the record’s featured musical arrangements.  They will be discussed shortly.  The lyrical themes that accompany the album’s featured musical arrangements add their own appeal to the album, so they will be discussed a little later.  The record’s sequencing rounds out its most important elements and will be discussed later, too.  Each item noted is important in its own way to the whole of the record.  All things considered, they make Transmitters a record that will send a strong signal of its own to any punk rock fans.

Steadfast’s most recent album Transmitters was released July 10, 2020, but as noted, the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic negatively impacted its distribution and coverage.  Had it received the distribution and coverage that it deserved last year, it no doubt would have become one of the year’s top new independent and punk rock albums.  That is proven in part through its featured arrangements.  The arrangements in question are punk rock at its purest.  Throughout the course of the album’s 11 songs, the arrangements immediately lend themselves to works from the likes of Rancid, Dropkick Murphys, and to a lesser extent, Green Day.  As a matter of fact, if audiences were to hear any part of this album without knowing it was Steadfast, the vocals alone would lead listeners to believe they were hearing DKM co-vocalist Al Barr or even Rancid front man Tim Armstrong.  The addition of the catchy guitars, driving time keeping, and rich bass line does just as much in each song to make the arrangements bear such a close similarity.  Even with all of this in mind, the arrangements do still bear their own identity separate from those of the aforementioned bands.  That is revealed through a close listen.  It is just that the similarities are that close between Steadfast and its more well-known counterparts.  All in all, the arrangements featured in Transmitters prove to be reason enough in themselves for audiences to hear the album.  They are collectively just one part of what makes Transmitters successful.  The lyrical themes that accompany the album’s musical arrangements add another layer of enjoyment to the album.

The lyrical themes featured in Transmitters are fully accessible in their own right.  Right from the record’s outset, the band offers up a song in its title track that celebrates independent music and the pirate (independent) radio stations that help spread the word about that music.  This is made clear right from the song’s lead verse, which states, “I heard the needle on the record drop while the DJ said “this ain’t the top of the charts/The music’s fast and it’s f****** loud/This is your pirate radio!”/Hear the sounds from the underground/Beaming their waves all over town/It’s a radio riot and it won’t settle down it’s a force they can’t control/Turn it all the way up – to the limit/Gonna watch the speakers explode/Turn it all the way up – to the limit on Revolution Radio/Revolution Radio/Turn it all the way up for the world to know/That it’s a force that they can’t control (whoa oh) Revolution Radio.”  The song’s second verse continues that celebration of all things independent as it states, “Transmitters to receivers hidden around the town for the disbelievers/To hear the truths from the rebel youths on the pirate radio!/Tune it in, turn it loud, sing along until you’re falling down/It belongs to me and you so be proud that it’s a force they can’t control.”  So right here, audiences clearly understand the accessibility of the album’s lyrical themes.  That simple, accessible theme, paired with the song’s equally infectious musical arrangement, makes the song in whole a powerful whole for the album.

As much as ‘Transmitters’ does to show the importance of the album’s fully accessible lyrical themes, it is just one example of that impact.  ‘Integrity,’ one of the album’s late entries, is accessible in its own right even as it presents a familiar political commentary throughout its three-and-a-half-minute presentation.  Front man Jason Bancroft takes no sides here, instead indicting politicians really on both sides of the aisle.  This is made clear as he sings in the song’s lead verse and chorus, “You’re a career politician with nothing to say/A puppet of a party who’s pulling the strings/With everything you do and everything your say/It proves that you have no f****** integrity/Now we’re sick and tired of the same old s***/How can you ignore the truth with no regrets?/The passions of the people will not calm lightly/You’re adding fuel to the fire of the next uprising/Don’t tell us lies just tell us the truth/See people suffer from your indecision/Don’t tell us lies just tell us the truth/Are you ready for the inquisition?/It’s defiance not reliance that we need/Because the system that’s controlling us is making us bleed.”  The song’s second verse continues the indictment of the political elite on both sides as it attacks both sides for “Giving to the rich/While robbing from the poor/Getting what you want by giving empty promises.”  Such lyrical content is familiar territory for any punk band.  Keeping that in mind, it is yet another clear, accessible theme that because of that clarity and connection, shows once more, the importance of the album’s lyrical themes.  It is just one more of the songs that serves to show the noted importance.  ‘Just Disbelievers’ is yet another example of that importance.

‘Just Disbelievers’ is, lyrically, a familiar anthem for a disenfranchised generation.  It is an anthem of proud defiance against those who would otherwise just discount said individuals.  As with the other themes addressed here, it is an all-too-familiar lyrical theme in the punk realm.  The anthem opens with Bancroft singing in the song’s lead verse and chorus, “We may seem young and hopeless – we may seem all the same/You might think that you know about us – but you don’t even know our name/You might think that you can stop us – put our backs up against a wall/It will take much more to stop us – because you’ll have to stop us all/We won’t go down without a fight/We might not win but that’s alright/We won’t go down without a fight/We won’t give in – no!”  that proud defiance continues in the song’s second verse in which Bancroft sings, “We are all saints and sinners – losers and sometimes winners/We are not king and queens/or followers/Just Disbelievers!/We will not be forgotten – won’t be content just to move along/Didn’t say we weren’t contradictions/But when we’re not right we’re still not wrong.”  Such content goes back a long way through the history of punk (and rock/metal in general).  That the band presented such a familiar theme in such an easily accessible fashion, reminding a whole new generation of listeners to stand up to those who would just toss them aside, is even more proof of the importance of the album’s lyrical themes.  When it and the other lyrical themes examined here are considered along with the album’s other lyrical themes, the whole leaves no doubt as to the importance of the album’s lyrical content.  When that overall content is paired with the album’s equally accessible punk sounds, the whole of that content forms a solid foundation for the album.  Taking all of that into account, the sequencing of that content rounds out the album’s most important elements.

Transmitters’ sequencing is important in part because in considering the album’s content, it ensures the album’s lyrical themes change from one song to the next.  From the fun to the more serious to the generally contemplative, the themes change throughout the course of the record’s 40-minute run time.  That in itself ensures listeners’ engagement and entertainment.  Additionally, the sequencing keeps the record’s energy high from one arrangement to the next.  The DIY, garage punk stylistic approach stays largely the same throughout with the changes in the arrangements remaining subtle from one to the next.  A close listen to the songs reveals those subtle changes from one song to the next.  That and the constant energy does its own part to keep listeners engaged, too.  When it and the engagement and entertainment ensured through the album’s lyrical variety are considered together, it shows clearly the role of the album’s sequencing to its presentation, too.  All things considered, these three elements make Transmitters an impressive offering from Steadfast that deserves its own share of attention among punk purists.

Steadfast’s most recent album, Transmitters is a positive offering from the independent punk rock band.  The album’s success comes in part through its featured musical arrangements.  The arrangements are all high-energy compositions whose melodies and general presentations lend themselves to comparison to works from the likes of Rancid, Dropkick Murphys and even Green Day.  They are infectious works that even with the comparisons in mind still have their own identities, making for reason enough to hear the album.  The album’s lyrical themes are just as accessible as their musical counterparts.  They are varied from one to the next, ranging from the silly to the serious.  When they are considered along with the album’s musical arrangements, the collective gives audiences even more reason for audiences to hear the album.  The record’s sequencing brings all of that content together and keeps the album’s energy high from start to end.  At the same time, it ensures listeners remain engaged and entertained by changing up the record’s lyrical themes throughout its 40-minute run time.  Each item noted here is important in its own way to the whole of the album.  All things considered, they make Transmitters a presentation that any punk purist will enjoy.

Transmitters is available now through Pine Box Derby.  More information on the album is available along with all of the band’s latest news at:

Website: https://www.steadfasthtx.com

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/steadfasthtx

To keep up with the latest entertainment reviews and news, go online to https://www.facebook.com/philspicks and “Like” it.  Fans can always keep up with the latest entertainment reviews and news in the Phil’s Picks blog at https://philspicks.wordpress.com.  

The Rumjacks Premiere ‘The Rhythm Of Her Name’ Video; New Album Out Now

Courtesy: Earshot Media

Celtic rock band The Rumjacks premiered the video for its latest single this week.

The band opened the week by unveiling the video for its single, ‘Rhythm of Her Name.’ The single is featured in the band’s newly released album, Hestia.

The video features the band performing its new single in a cabin setting. Various angles and lighting are used, as well as a woman seemingly rising from the dead as footage of a woman plays. The visualization in question would seem to hint at the song being an ode to a woman that the song’s subject once loved.

Front man Mike Rivkees spoke briefly about the video treatment in a prepared statement.

“‘Rhythm of Her Name’ is one of those songs that only can arise out of tragedy,” he said. “With ghastly undertones in both lyrics and video, the combination of the two has created some of my proudest work as both a songwriter and filmmaker. Being able to intertwine these to tell a full story (without giving away the song’s true meaning), has made this one really shine.”

The musical arrangement featured in the new single presents a similarity in sound and style to works from Dropkick Murphys and Flogging Molly, but far more subdued in its sound and stylistic approach. The repetition in the chorus ensures the song will get stuck in listeners’ minds.

In other news, the Rumjacks is scheduled to tour in support of its new album next year. The tour is scheduled to launch Jan. 25 in Liverpool, England and to run through Feb. 26 in Belfast, Ireland. It features performances in cities, such as Glasgow, Scotland; Oxford, England and Bideford, England.

The tour’s schedule is noted below. Tickets are available here.

UK & IRELAND TOUR 2022
25/01 – Jimmy’s, Liverpool
26/01 – Anarchy Brew Co., Newcastle
27/01 – Church, Dundee
28/01 – Slay, Glasgow
29/01 – Krakatoa, Aberdeen
01/02 – The Crescent, York
02/02 – The Musician, Leicester
03/02 – Katie Fitzgerald’s, Stourbridge
04/02 – Wroot Rocks, Wroot
05/02 – Waterloo, Blackpool
06/02 – O2 Academy2, Oxford
08/02 – Underground, Stoke On Trent
09/02 – Dick Whittington, Gloucester
10/02 – The Palladium Club, Bideford
11/02 – The Cobblestones, Bridgwater
12/02 – Camden Underworld, London
13/02 – Waterfront Studio, Norwich
15/02 – Star Inn, Guildford
16/02 – Patterns, Brighton
17/02 – The Joiners, Southampton
18/02 – Esquires, Bedford
19/02 – Clwb Ifor Bach, Cardiff
24/02 – Whelans, Dublin
26/02 – Voodoo, Belfast

More information on The Rumjacks’ new video, single, album, and tour is available along with all of the band’s latest news at:

Website: https://therumjacks.com

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/TheRumjacks

Twitter: https://twitter.com/Rumjacks

To keep up with the latest entertainment news and reviews, go online to https://www.facebook.com/philspicks and “Like” it. Fans can always keep up with the latest entertainment news and reviews in the Phil’s Picks blog at https://philspicks.wordpress.com.

‘Turn Up That Dial’ Is Among Dropkick Murphys’ Best Albums To Date

Courtesy: Born & Bred Records

Dropkicck Murphys is scheduled to release its latest album, Turn Up That Dial Friday through its own label, Born and Bred Records.  In celebration of the album’s release, the band announced Monday that it will host a free, livestream album release part Friday.  The band’s 10th album, it offers plenty to celebrate, too, not the least of which being its featured musical arrangements, which will be discussed shortly.  The record’s lyrical content pairs with the noted musical arrangements to make for even more engagement and entertainment.  It will be discussed a little later.  The album’s sequencing rounds out its most important elements and will also be discussed later.  Each item noted here is important in its own way to the whole of the album’s presentation.  All things considered, they make the album one of the best of the band’s existing albums and one more of this year’s top new rock albums.

Dropkick Murphys’ latest album, Turn Up That Dial is one of the best of the band’s existing albums to date.  It is in reality, the band’s best album since its 2003 album, Blackout.  That is just this critic’s own take of course. Part of the record’s success comes through its featured musical arrangements.  The arrangements featured in this 39-minute presentation are more akin to the works featured in Blackout and its predecessors than the albums between Blackout and this record.  Those records – five in all – just seemed more “experimental” than fully focused.  Putting it more into layman’s terms, the noted albums – The Warrior’s Code, The Meanest of Times, Going out in Style, Signed and Sealed in Blood, and 11 Short Stories of Pain & Glory – did not have as many of the memorable hooks, melodies and choruses that this and the band’s other albums have presented.  Rather, they seemed to present more of an air of the band taking a risk and seeing where the songs would go.  That is not to say that those albums were bad by any means.  They were just less memorable than this album and the band’s four other albums.  Every song on this record features that catchy, infectious upbeat Celtic punk for which Dropkick Murphys has come to be known over the course of the band’s life.  There is even a hint of the traditional Scottish song, ‘Scotland The Brave’ in ‘Chosen Few,’ one of the new album’s entries.  It is a subtle addition to the song, but those who listen closely will catch the band’s unique arrangement of the song.  The short and simple here is that the musical arrangements featured in Turn Up That Dial will take listeners back to the sound to which they have become accustomed from Dropick Murphys while still maintaining some originality in their own presentation.  That stylistic return to form creates a solid foundation for Turn Up That Dial.  Building on that foundation is the lyrical content that accompanies the album’s musical arrangements.

The lyrical content that is featured in Turn Up That Dial is of note because of the variety in its presentations.  ‘Middle Finger,’ one of the album’s singles, serves well to exhibit that variety. Acording to co-front man Ken Casey, the song is somewhat biographical.  “Thinking of my younger days, I made things a lot harder for myself than they needed to be – and still pay for some of those mistakes now,” he said.  The note in the song’s chorus about Casey constantly putting up the middle finger, being rebellious, echoes Casey’s statement.  It is a statement that will resonate with a wide range of listeners, making it quite accessible. 

In contrast to the story featured in ‘Middle Finger,’ ‘Chosen Few’ takes a more political path as it promotes unity among Americans.  Of course, political commentary is nothing new for Dropkick Murphys.  In the case of this song, Casey has been cited as stating the song focuses on the havoc caused by now former President Donald Trump and the need for America to unite despite what Trump caused.  That message of unity comes early on in the song as Casey sings, “For a democracy to work/We gotta see it from both sides/Stop pointing fingers/Shut your mouth and compromise/These last 10 months/The division really grew/While the guy in charge said, ‘It’s just another flu’/Let’s get our s*** together/Not make things such a fuss/We can’t behave like nitwits/The world is watching us/No more silly temper tantrums/Let’s all just behave/remember who we  are/We’re the home of the brave.”  The commentary continues with Casey singing in the song’s second verse, “We used to be the heroes/Today we are the trash/They took all our good will and they shoved it up our ass/The welcome has worn out  for the red, white, and blue/If we don’t smarten up/They’re gonna tell us all to screw/But can you really  blame ‘em all/For thinking that we suck/Our antics and behavior/The people are fed up/So  let’s  find  a common  ground on which we can agree/Congress, senate, White House/And even Billy Dee.”  The song’s third and final verse follows in similar fashion, complete with Casey and company singing, “Na na na na/Na na na na/Hey, hey/Goodbye,” a cynical statement that fittingly sends Trump on his way following his election defeat.  Yes, Trump was defeated as much as he wants to deny that thanks to his narcissistic pride.  Sadly, even now in a post-Trump era, America still has not heeded that call for unity.  If anything, the nation’s division is just as wide as ever if not wider than before.  That aside, that the band would once again take on a socio-political commentary among many other topics here is more proof of the importance of the album’s lyrical content.  That the band would do so in a fashion that makes the topic so accessible adds even more to that importance.

As Dropkick Murphys closes out its new album, the record’s lyrical diversity continues in ‘I Wish You Were Here.’  The song is a lyrical tribute to the father of Casey’s fellow co-front man, Al Barr.  The folk style approach to the touching musical elegy in its musical arrangement partners well with Barr’s warm yet bittersweet rumination on his love for his father.  Barr’s statement that, “I wish you were here/How I wish you were here/I’m out on my own/I’m so far from home/And I wish you were here” is certain to resonate with so many listeners.  We all reach that point in life in which we really do miss our parents whether it be as adults ourselves or even younger.  To that end, the melancholy mood of the noted lines, paired with the song’s equally beautifully painful musical content makes this song even more impacting.  When this song’s accessible lyrical content is considered along with that in the other songs examined here and the rest of the album’s songs, the whole leaves no doubt as to the importance of the album’s lyrical content.  When the impact of the album’s lyrical content and musical arrangements is considered in whole, that collective shows even more why this album is successful.  Even with all of this in  mind, the album’s sequencing still deserves its own attention.

The sequencing of Turn Up That Dial is important to note because of the role that it has in terms of the album’s general effect.  The songs range from just over two-and-a-half minutes to as much as almost four-and-a-half minutes throughout the course of the album’s nearly 40-minute run time.   Even with that range of run times from one song to the next, the sequencing ensures that the songs’ energies keep the record’s pacing solid throughout.  That attention to detail ensures in its own way that the record keeps moving and that in turn, listeners remain engaged and entertained.  The result is that listeners will be left feeling fulfilled, knowing they have experienced a presentation that is another of Dropkick Murphys’ best albums.

Dropkick Murphys’ new album Turn Up That Dial is a work that will impress any of the band’s audiences.  That is proven in no small part to the album’s musical arrangements.  The arrangements in question are everything that audiences have come to expect from the veteran Celtic punk rock band.  The lyrical content featured in the album, which is largely presented in a somewhat retrospective fashion from one song to the next, presents plenty of diversity in its topics.  What’s more, the songs’ lyrical themes are accessible and delivered in such fashion, too.  That ensures listeners’ maintained engagement and entertainment in its own way, too.  The record’s sequencing puts the finishing touch to its presentation.  It ensures that the album progresses fluidly from one song to the next.  The result is that listeners will find the album ending before they realize it, but in the best sense possible.  Each item examined here is important in its own way to the whole of this album.  All things considered, they make Turn Up That Dial one of Dropkick Murphys’ best albums to date and one more of this year’s top new rock albums.  Turn Up That Dial is scheduled for release Friday through Born & Bred Records.

More information on Dropick Murphys’ new album is available along with all of Dropkick Murphys’ latest news at:

Websitehttps://www.dropkickmurphys.com

Facebookhttps://www.facebook.com/DropkickMurphys

Twitterhttps://twitter.com/DropkickMurphys

To keep up with the latest entertainment news and reviews, go online to https://www.facebook.com/philspicks and “Like” it. Fans can always keep up with the latest entertainment news and reviews in the Phil’s Picks blog at https://philspicks.wordpress.com.

Countless Thousands’ New LP Will Appeal To Countless Thousands Of Listeners

Courtesy: Independent Music Promotions

The independent music community is not wasting its time getting things moving in the new year.  The Soviet Machines and R.A.P. Ferreira have already given music lovers plenty to appreciate in this year with their new albums.  Now today, fellow independent act Countless Thousands added to the year’s already fast-filling field of new music with its new album …And The Triumph of Justice.  The 16-song record is a standout among its current counterparts within the independent and rock communities.  That is due in no small part to the diversity exhibited in the album’s musical arrangements.  This will be discussed shortly.  The lyrical themes that accompany the album’s musical arrangements add their own share of interest to the album’s presentation.  They will be discussed a little later.  The record’s sequencing rounds out its most important elements and will be discussed later, too.  Each item noted here is important in its own way to the whole of the album.  All things considered, they make …And The Triumph of Justice the first truly standout independent album of 2021.

Countless Thousands’ new album …And The Triumph of Justice is a great early surprise from this year’s field of new independent and rock albums.  It is a presentation that will appeal widely to audiences thanks in part to its featured musical arrangements.  The arrangements in question present a wide variety of stylistic approaches and sounds.  Right from its outset, ‘The Triumph of Justice,’ audiences get a composition that immediately lends itself to the sounds of Queen from the late 1980s.  More specifically, the one minute, seven second instrumental composition immediately lends itself to comparisons to the songs that Queen crafted for the television adaptation of Highlander and for its work on the Flash Gordon.  It is so cheesy in its nearly over the top approach, but is so glorious at the same time for that power metal style approach and sound.  From there, the band immediately changes things up in the album’s second entry, ‘Game Change.’  That song is indeed a game change for the album, as it takes a more punk rock approach.  Speaking more specifically, the approach here, is akin to works from the likes of Flogging Molly and Dropkick Murphys.  That is evidenced in the use of the vocal delivery, guitar, bass and even drums.  It goes without saying that the whole makes for quite the contrast from the album’s opener and keeps things interesting.  ‘Space Nazis Must Die (ft. Professor Elementary)’ changes things yet again, giving audiences this time, more of a stoner rock style sound.  As if that change is not enough, the band takes on America’s National Anthem a la Jimi Hendrix but with quite the twist in the album’s next track.  Things only continue to change from here on to the album’s end.  The album turns more in a bluegrass vein in ‘The Rat’ before turning back in the punk direction in ‘Solidarity Forever.’  ‘Parts Unknown’ gives audiences yet another change, turning the album in a neo-folk style direction.  Stoner rock fans will appreciate the next few songs, ‘Fat Cat,’ ‘MASK OFF’ and ‘Lazar Wolf.’  The wildly crazy (no pun intended) ‘Murder Assassins from the Future’ is bizarre but one can’t help but listen to the jolly sounding song about a crazed killer.  This will be addressed shortly in the discussion on the album’s lyrical content.  The album turns back in the punk direction from there in ‘Parts Oiknown.’  Yes, that is really the title, not a typo.  The neo-folk approach returns once again in its cover of Stephen Foster’s timeless tune ‘Hard Times (Come No More) before closing out in two more unique fashions in the album’s last two songs.  Looking back through all of this, it becomes evident that throughout the course of its 45-minute run time, this album offers so much for listeners to enjoy.  It never sticks too long to one style of song, ensuring listeners’ engagement and entertainment just in this aspect.  For all that the diverse musical presentation of …And The Triumph of Justice does for its presentation, it is just one of the items that makes this record so surprisingly enjoyable.  The lyrical content that accompanies the album’s musical arrangements builds on the foundation built by the music and strengthens it even more.

The lyrical content that is presented throughout Countless Thousands’ new album will generate its own share of interest for listeners.  One prime example of that interest comes, as noted previously, comes in the uniquely titled and sounding ‘Murder Assassins From the Future.’  The playful song features a story about apparently a crazy guy who claims to be from the future on a mission to stop a future apocalypse by trying to kill a child.  Of course things don’t end up well for the nutjob.  What happens will be left for listeners to discover for themselves, but the overall sarcastic and light hearted nature in the story makes it stand out so much from the rest of the record’s lyrical content.

In direct contrast, the much more reserved ‘Parts Unknown’ (not to be confused with ‘Points Oinknown’) gives listeners something more reality-based.  It is sung from the standpoint of what seems to be a parent singing to his daughter, recounting his own past as he talks to her about herself growing up.  The parent tells the child that “you are the ripple in my water” and to “stay humble” as she grows up.  He ends the song telling her, “I love you how you are.”  It really is a touching moment in this record that is certain to become a fan favorite.

‘Game Change’ gives listeners even more interest in regards to the album’s lyrical themes.  A close listen to this song reveals a socio-politically charged work that seems to take on the lengths to which people will go against one another nowadays.  Additionally, it presents its own damning condemnation of how the Democrats and Republicans alike have abused their powers, going so far as to say of this topic, “It’s just rock, paper, scissors/Going around and around in circles/Winners eat the losers in a zero sum game.”  The whole things ends with the line asking listeners, “What are you willing to live with?”  That is a telling question.  Together with the other noted statements, it becomes clear that this song is meant to present a familiar topic (if not two topics) that are accessible to audiences.  When this is considered along with the themes addressed in ‘Parts Unknown,’ ‘Murder Assassins From the Future’ and the rest of the album’s entries, no doubt is left as to the importance and impact of the record’s lyrical content.  When the whole of the album’s lyrical content is considered together with the record’s musical content, the overall content make for more than enough reason for people to hear this album.  They are collectively still just a portion of what audiences will appreciate in this presentation.  The sequencing of the featured content puts the finishing touch to the record’s presentation.

The sequencing of …And the Triumph of Justice is key to the album’s presentation because it takes into account the wide range of musical and lyrical content and the energies in the album’s songs.  As already noted here, the album’s musical arrangements are diverse.  At no point in the record’s nearly 50-minute run do the arrangements stay one way too long.  The longest span through which any one style remains is three songs late in the record’s run.  That constant change in the album’s musical arrangement styles does plenty in its own right to keep listeners engaged and entertained.  The energies in the arrangements change just as constantly as the styles in the arrangements.  The whole thing starts in the noted grandiose style in the album’s title track.  From there, the record’s energy picks up quite noticeably in its second track.  It is not until the band’s take on the National Anthem that the record’s energy pulls back.  From there, the energy gradually picks back up until it reaches its peak again in ‘Solidarity Forever.’  What’s so interesting here is that as energetic and frenetic as the arrangement is, its up-tempo take of the otherwise more solemn ‘Battle Hymn of the Republic’ in classic punk style makes for one heck of a dichotomy.  The band slams on the brakes again from there in ‘Parts Unknown.’  The energy gradually rises again from there, getting a little more upbeat in the hybrid stoner/swing style ‘Fat Cat.’  The band decides to go in a different direction from there in ‘Mask Off’ what with the plodding stoner/sludge/doom hybrid approach.  What’s interesting here is that while the brief opus is short – it clocks in at just under a minute – it is still heavy, and sets the stage for the much more up-tempo (and 80s Queen-eque) ‘Lazar Wolf.’  The energy gradually decline again from there, but not too much, as is evidenced in the light but still up-tempo folk take of ‘Hard Times (Come Again No More).’  The album goes out on a controlled note in its final two songs, landing listeners easily on a distant musical shore from where they started on the musical journey that is this record.  By the record’s end, audiences will find that the journey is one on which they will want to go again thanks to the clear attention to the rise and fall in the album’s energies.  That attention keeps things interesting from start to end, and in turns keeps the record moving and sounding so enjoyable.  Keeping this in mind along with the importance of the album’s content, the result is a record whose content and related presentation thereof is equally positive.  All things considered, they make …And the Triumph of Justice a triumph of an independent album and an album in general.

Countless Thousands’ new album …And the Triumph of Justice is itself a triumphant new offering from the unsigned, independent band.  That is proven in part through its musical arrangements, which are quite diverse to say the least.  The lyrical content that accompanies the record’s musical arrangements adds its own share of appeal to the album.  The sequencing of that collective content puts the final touch to the album’s presentation, bringing everything full circle.  Each item note here is key in its own way to the whole of the album.  All things considered, they make the album in whole a musical triumph.  The album is available now.  More information on the record is available along with all of Countless Thousands’ latest news at:

Website: http://www.countlessthousands.com

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/CountlessThousands

Twitter: http://twitter.com/countless1000s

To keep up with the latest entertainment reviews and news, go online to http://www.facebook.com/philspicks and “Like” it.  Fans can always keep up with the latest entertainment reviews and news in the Phil’s Picks blog at https://philspicks.wordpress.com.   

Punk, Pop Punk Fans Will Agree Mercy Music’s New LP Deserves Its Own Time In The Light

Courtesy: Wiretap Records

Independent pop punk band Mercy Music released its new album this week in the form of Nothing in the Dark.  The 10-song record is short, clocking in at only 26 minutes, but despite that short run time, it proves itself a positive new offering from the band.  That is proven through its musical arrangements and lyrical themes.  This is proven right from the album’s outset in the form of its single ‘Living With a Ghost.’  This song will be discussed shortly.  ‘Even If I’ve Lost,’ the album’s closer, is another of its high points.  It will be addressed a little later.  The album’s title track, which comes just past the record’s midpoint, is another key addition to its presentation.  It will also be discussed later.  When it is considered along with the other two songs noted here and the rest of the record’s works, the whole of that content makes this album a work that will appeal to any pop punk fan.

Nothing in the Dark is a record from which no pop punk fan has anything to fear.  That is proven from start to end of the record, which clocks in at less than half an hour.  That is proven right from the album’s outset in the form of ‘Living With A Ghost.’  The song is a strong start to the album.  That is due in part to the song’s musical arrangement, which exhibits a wide range of influences.  On one hand, the infectious guitar riffs couple with the bass, drums and vocals to make for a composition that lends itself to works from the likes of All Time Low.  The guitar solo in the bridge is immediately comparable to those of Dropkick Murphys.  On yet another hand, one could just as easily compare this song to works from New Found Glory.  Keeping all of this in mind, it goes to show just in this case what makes this song stand out among the album’s entries.  It shows the wide appeal of the album’s musical content.  Of course, the song’s musical content is not all that is worth examining.  The song’s lyrical content adds to its appeal in its own right.

The song’s lyrical content delivers an uplifting message that couples well with the upbeat sense in the work’s musical arrangement.  Front man Brendan Scholz delivers the message right from the song’s opening as he sings, “Only going up from here/Broken in a brand new year/But it’s alright/Something good will come around/Put all their faith in me/In the red with mouths to feed/I fight/They fall and break/I play pretend/I see it/Won’t leave it alone/Believe this or so I’m told/Don’t/But I need to/And it’s okay/Take it from me/Are we just fucked/To live and die unknown/Living with a ghost.”  This verse in itself delivers a seeming message of perseverance, accepting one’s situation, but making the best of said circumstances.  That message continues as Scholz sings in the song’s second verse, “Honestly I’m ruled by fear/And losing all that I hold dear/But it’s alright/Something good will come around/This idiotic make believe/That I’ll be the man I want to be/But it’s alright/The light is gone/Too weak/I need a friend/I see it/Won’t leave it alone/Believe this or so I’m told/Don’t, but I need to/And it’s OK/Take it from me/Are we just fucked to live and die unknown/Living with a ghost.”  Again, that message of accepting the situation but seeing that proverbial light at the end of the tunnel is echoed, just in a different way.  That uplifting message couples with the song’s equally upbeat musical arrangement to make clear why this song is such a key addition to Nothing in the Dark.  It is just one of the songs that makes the album stand out in this year’s field of new punk and pop punk records.  ‘Even If I’ve Lost,’ the record’s finale, is another example of the album’s strength.

‘Even If I’m Lost’ clocks in at just above the two-minute mark.  To be precise, its run time is two minutes, 14-seconds.  In that short time, the band manages to impress just as much here as at any other point in the record’s run.  That is due in part to the song’s musical arrangement.  This full-throttle work is comparable to works from Pennywise, Rancid and plenty of other punk bands in terms of its sound and stylistic thanks to its guitar riff, precision time keeping and vocal delivery.  Working through this song without a lyrics sheet to reference, the lyrics are difficult to fully decipher.  What can be deciphered without lyrics is that the song seems to deliver a message similar to that of the album’s opener.

One can hear at least to a point, Scholz making statements about things not getting any easier, but trying “even if I’ve lost.”  There’s also a mention of recognizing how “everyone around you betrays” and “the biggest detriment” being something having to do with “common sense.”  Again, not having a lyrics sheet to reference, some of the words get lost amid the instruments.  However, enough of this is decipherable to know that the song seems to deliver another uplifting message, this time of not giving p, despite the situation.  To that end, if that is in fact the message being delivered, then message and received and appreciated.  Together with the song’s positive vibe and fiery energy, the song in whole proves in its own way why the album is worth hearing.  It is just one more of the album’s most notable songs, too.  The record’s title track does its own part to exhibit the album’s strength.

‘Nothing in the Dark’ offers audiences an acoustic performance from Scholz.  It is just him and his guitar here, which makes for its own impact.  The song clocks in at just over two-and-a-half minutes, but even in that short time, the emotion delivered through Scholz’s vocals and guitar playing translates well.  Together with the lyical content, that impact increases.

Scholz sings in the song’s lead verse, “I’m still awake/Eyes are bleeding/Pain I never wanted to know/You’re finding peace/Sweetly Sleeping/but you know how this one goes/When I go out I’ll be sure/That I go out alone/We can be two lonely people/the way it was before/My body shakes/Not f****** dealing/Wait for me to go…but you know how this one goes/When I go out/I’ll be sure/That I go out alone/We can be two lonely people/The way it was before.”  The rest of the song continues in similar fashion with the noted statement about an obvious breakup between a couple.  There is a certain intensity in Scholz’s voice as he sings some of the lines.  When it is juxtaposed against that simple approach to the song’s arrangement, the emotional impact makes for that much more strength.  Considering that impact, when the song is considered along with the other songs noted here and the rest of the album’s works, the whole makes the album a record that is sure to appeal to any punk and pop punk fan.

Mercy Music’s new album Nothing in the Dark is a work that punk and pop punk fans alike will agree is worth hearing at least once.  That is proven through the album’s musical and lyrical content.  As evidenced here, the musical arrangements are catchy and infectious while the lyrical content is accessible in its own right, adding even more to the record’s appeal.  All thee of the songs addressed here serve to support the noted statements.  When they are considered with the rest of the album’s works, the whole becomes a work that punk and pop punk fans will agree deserves its own moment in the light.  The album is available now.  More information on the record is available along with all of the band’s latest news at:

 

 

 

Website: http://www.mercymusicforyou.com

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/mercymusicforyou

Twitter: http://twitter.commercymusic1

 

To keep up with the latest entertainment reviews and news, go online to http://www.facebook.com/philspicks and “Like” it.  Fans can always keep up with the latest entertainment reviews and news in the Phil’s Picks blog at https://philspicks.wordpress.com.

DKM’s Latest LP Will Bring Listeners More Pleasure Than Pain

Courtesy: Dropkick Murphys

Courtesy: Dropkick Murphys

Dropkick Murphys returned this week with its latest full-length studio recording 11 Stories of Pain & Glory.  The band’s ninth full-length studio recording, this latest offering will cause listeners more joy than pain. That is due in part to the songs’ lyrical themes. That will be discussed shortly.  The songs that are featured in the 11-song record are just as important to note as its story.  The record’s sequencing rounds out its most important elements.  Each element is important in its own right.  All things considered, this record reveals itself to be the year’s first great new rock record.

Dropkick Murphys’ ninth new full-length studio recording 11 Stories of Pain & Glory is this year’s first great new rock record.  The veteran Boston, MA-based punk outfit impresses with this latest effort due at least in part to the lyrical themes presented in each of the record’s songs. ‘You’ll Never Walk Alone’ is a prime example of the importance of the songs’ lyrical themes to its overall presentation.  The song is a cover of the composition made famous by Rogers and Hammerstein’s musical Carousel.  As founding member and bassist Ken Casey explains, the inspiration for the song came after he left a wake for fellow band member Al Barr’s brother-in-law, who had died from an overdose.

“Between Al’s loss and all the friends and people who I know, I’d say I’ve been to 50 wakes in the last three years,” Casey said. “I was leaving another overdose wake and the song came on in the car.  My music was on shuffle and ‘You’ll Never Walk Alone’ randomly played.  As I heard the chorus, “Walk on, walk on with hope in your heart, and you’ll never walk alone,” it struck me how powerfully the song related to the struggle and how you don’t have to do it alone.”

Casey made a strong, solid point in his statement.  While the song may not be an original, it shows that a song doesn’t necessarily have to have just one meaning even if it was originally written to address one subject or another.  It can be just as powerful with a latent message than a manifest message.  It’s just one song that exemplifies the importance of the record’s lyrical themes to the album’s presentation.  ‘Paying My Way’ is another example of the importance of the record’s lyrical content.

‘You’ll Never Walk Alone’ is a key example of what makes 11 Songs of Pain & Glory an impressive new effort from Dropkick Murphys.  While it may be a cover of a song from a Rogers & Hammerstein musical, the story behind its inclusion here gives the song’s lyrics a while new meaning; a meaning that makes the song just as powerful as the meaning of its lyrics in its original use if not more so.  It is just one of the songs that so clearly exhibits the importance of the record’s lyrical content.  ‘Paying My Way’ shows just as clearly the importance of the album’s overall lyrical themes to its presentation.  Front man Al Barr sings in the song’s lead verse, “Wake and pray/Work all day/I walk past the places that I used to play/Now I’m paying my way.” He adds in the second verse, “My heart is so much higher/Don’t count me out/I’m a survivor/I’d chase these dreams down city streets/Dead end rows and no one sees/And I am proud to be a fighter/When I look back to see your sign/When I look hard into your eyes/When I take stock of what I’ve done/I think about how far I’ve come.”  These lines provide such a positive message.  It isn’t a coincidence that the message in question is there, either.  As Casey explained in a recent interview, “‘Paying My Way’ is not just about paying your bills.  It’s about doing what you have to do in order to be a good person, but at the end of the day, never losing sight of the fact that doing the next right thing may lead to great things one day.”  That is evident, again, as Barr sings, “Don’t count me out/I’m a survivor…and I am proud to be a fighter.”  This is someone who isn’t willing to just roll over, but rather someone who realizes how far he or she has come, and in appreciating that, only looks forward.  It is a powerful and moving statement that shows even more why the album’s lyrical themes are so important to its overall presentation.  It is hardly the last song that serves to support that statement, too.  ‘Blood,’ the record’s lead single is one more example of the importance of the record’s lyrical themes to its presentation.

Dropkick Murphys’ cover of ‘You’ll Never Walk Alone’ and its own original song ‘Paying My Way’ are both key examples of the importance of the lyrical themes presented in the band’s new album 11 Songs of Pain & Glory.  That is because both songs’ lyrical themes present a positive message at their base.  What’s more they present those positive messages in different ways, rather than focusing on the same subject in each.  They are just two of the songs featured in this record that exhibit the importance of the songs’ lyrical themes.  The album’s lead single ‘Blood’ exhibits the importance of the album’s lyrical themes just as much as ‘You’ll Never Walk Alone’ and ‘Paying My Way.’  Barr sings here, “They beat us down, but we survived/Talked out of school and made up lies/But we don’t listen, we do what we do/We don’t care about them, we care about you.”  He goes on in the song’s closing verse to sing, “We’re coming for you/We’ll kick down the door/Be careful what you ask for, ‘cause you may get more/Gonna keep it loud, we don’t turn down/We’re coming back, we’re taking over this town.”  Barr and his band mates accent the verses as they sing in the song’s chorus, “If you want blood we’ll give you some/Straight from the heart til the job is done/If you want it now, then here it comes.”  Again, what listeners get here is another positive message in another different subject.  The song’s subject come across as saying here he or she and others have endured a lot in life, but still haven’t given up, nor will they give up either.  It comes across as echoing the statement that what doesn’t kill you only makes you stronger.  Once again, it is another prime example of the importance of this record’s lyrical themes to its overall presentation.  The record boasts eight other tracks whose lyrical themes are just as important as those noted here.  When they are combined together, they show undeniably the importance of the record’s lyrical content to its overall presentation.  Of course the record’s lyrical themes are collectively just part of what makes the album stand out.  Its musical arrangements are just as important to note as its lyrical themes.

The lyrical themes presented throughout 11 Songs of Pain & Glory are, collectively, key to the record’s overall presentation because of the positive messages presented in each song.  Each message presents its own original positive message separate from its counterparts.  That in itself gives audiences plenty of reason to pick up this new album.  While the record’s positive lyrical messages clearly show the important part that they play in the record’s presentation, those messages are only part of the equation.  The songs’ musical arrangements are just as important to discuss as their lyrical themes.  Audiences familiar with Dropkick Murphys’ body of work will note that the band has taken a decidedly different path musically on this record than in its past albums.  The upbeat, punk arrangements for which the band has come to be known are present here in ‘Rebels With A Cause,’ ‘Kicked To The Curb,’ and ‘I Had A Hat.’  But they are the only pieces that boast that familiar feel.  The rest of the album’s featured arrangements are either mid-tempo works such as ‘The Lonesome Boatman,’ ‘Blood’ and ‘First Class Loser’ or they are more reserved pieces such as ‘4-15-13,’ and ‘You’ll Never Walk Alone.’  In simple terms, the arrangements presented in this record tend to favor melody more than speed (or quality over quantity).  That’s not to say that the band hasn’t included songs focusing more on melody than speed in its previous albums.  But that focus seems more prevalent on this offering than on the band’s previous releases.  It may not seem that important on the surface, but again, those who are familiar with the band’s body of work will especially take note of this element.  It is interesting to see that change of direction, which in itself is not a bad thing.  It’s just interesting to note, and is not the last of the record’s most important elements.  The record’s sequencing rounds out its most important elements.

The lyrical and musical content presented throughout Dropkick Murphys’ new album are both key to the record’s overall presentation.  The songs’ lyrical themes each share positive messages in original settings.  Their musical arrangements show more focus than ever on melody than speed, and while the band has focused on melody before, it has never done so to the extent that it does here.  As important as these elements are to the record’s presentation, they are but two of the album’s most important elements.  Its overall sequencing, when taking into consideration those messages and arrangements, proves to be important in its own right to the record’s presentation, too.  From one song to the next, the stories presented in this record change constantly.  Each tale is original in its own way, as are the positive messages, but they also vary, and while the band focuses mainly on slower, more melodic arrangements than ever before, it does still include just enough higher energy arrangements throughout alongside mid-tempo arrangements to keep listeners fully engaged.  The album’s energy never gets too fast or slow thanks to the thoughtful sequencing of the songs’ arrangements, in simple terms.  When that is considered alongside the record’s varied lyrical topics and associated positive messages, the record’s presentation proves in whole why it will bring listeners more pleasure than pain.

Dropkick Murphys’ latest full-length LP 11 Stories of Pain & Glory is a work that will bring listeners more pleasure than pain. It shows through its lyrical themes and positive messages, its musical arrangements and its general sequencing that it is also the year’s first great rock record.  The lyrical themes and positive messages will keep listeners engaged in themselves.  The songs’ more melodic arrangements show a blatant change of direction for the band in comparison to the arrangements presented in its previous records.  The record’s sequencing highlights the importance of the songs’ lyrical and musical content even more, completing the record’s presentation in turn.  Each element obviously is important in its own way to the record.  All things considered, they make 11 Stories of Pain & Glory – again – a work that will bring listeners more pleasure than pain, and a record that proves to be the year’s first great rock record.  It is available now in stores and online.  The band will launch a tour in support of its new album beginning Feb. 21 in Bethlehem, PA.  The tour’s current schedule is noted below.

 

11 Short Stories of Pain & Glory Tour dates are as follows with The Interrupters and Blood or Whiskey opening except where noted below.

 

2/21/17 – Bethlehem, PA – Sands Bethlehem Event Center *+

2/22/17 – Columbus, OH – Express Live! *+

2/24/17 – Clive, IA – 7 Flags Event Center *+

2/25/17 – Hinckley, MN – The Grand Minnesota Taste Together *

2/26/17 – Sioux Falls, SD – The District *+

2/28/17 – Kansas City, MO – Uptown Theater *+

3/1/17 – Tulsa, OK – Cain’s Ballroom *+

3/2/17 – Little Rock, AR – Metroplex Live *+

3/3/17 – Robinsonville, MS – Horseshoe Tunica – Bluesville *+

3/4/17 – Birmingham, AL – Iron City *+

3/6/17 – St. Petersburg, FL – Janus Live *

3/7/17 – Ft. Lauderdale, FL – Revolution Live *

3/8/17 – Lake Buena Vista, FL – House of Blues *

3/10/17 – Myrtle Beach, SC – House of Blues *+

3/11/17 – Washington, DC – Shamrockfest Dropkick Murphys ONLY

3/12/17 – Huntington, NY – The Paramount *+

3/15/17 – Boston, MA – TBA

3/16/17 – Boston, MA – TBA

3/17/17 – Boston, MA – TBA

3/18/17 – Boston, MA – Agganis Arena

3/18/17 – Boston, MA – After Party @ House Of Blues with Pro Boxing

3/19/17 – Boston, MA – TBA

* w/ Blood or Whiskey

+ w/ The Interrupters

 

 

More information on 11 Short Stories of Pain and Glory is available online along with all of the band’s latest news and more at:

 

 

 

Websitehttp://www.dropkickmurphys.com

Facebookhttp://www.facebook.com/DropkickMurphys

Twitterhttp://twitter.com/DropkickMurphys

 

 

 

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