DROPKICK MURPHYS - Sing Loud, Sing Proud!
Release date February 6, 2001 (Hellcat)
Review originally published in Rip'N'Tear Magazine, Issue #10
The Murphys have gone and done it. They've followed up two classic releases (1997's Do Or Die and 1999's The Gangs All Here) with yet another primo slice of punk rebellion. In this outing, the Boston-based act have delved deeper into their Irish roots bringing bagpipes, mandolins and accordions to the forefront, resulting in a less violent sound ... but no less rollicking or enjoyable.
There are a number of singalong folk tales that make a beeline for the memory banks; for example, if 'The Wild Rover' don't get you running for the fridge for an ale to hoist while singing along lustily, then you may be dead (or an abstainer). That is not to say this whole album lacks power, as the boys still deliver the goods through such gems as 'The Rocky Road To Dublin', 'Ramble and Roll' and 'Which Side Are You On?'.
Sing Loud, Sing Proud is the ultimate party album for those who indulge in hedonistic bouts of copious beer drinking. Bad Religion's grasp on the melodic punk championship belt is now tenuous at best. Buy or don't imbibe.
Note: Renowned booze hound and ex-Pogues singer Shane MacGowan guest on two tracks.
Update: Sing Loud, Sing Proud! stands as Dropkick Murphys best release in my opinion, capturing the band transitioning from punk-band-with-Celtic-influences to Celtic-band-with-punk-influences. One of the premier Celtic punk records of all time. (10)