Music

Dropkick Murphys: Singles Collection Volume 2: 1998:2004 (B-Sides, Covers, Comps & Other Crap)

Jason MacNeil

These Boston Celtics wear the green proud, even when AC/DC, Nipple Erectors, and John Fogerty are some of the choice covers presented. A wild and haphazard collection of a half-dozen beers, er, years!"


Dropkick Murphys

Singles Collection Volume 2: 1998:2004 (B-Sides, Covers, Comps & Other Crap)

Label: B-Sides, Covers, Comps & Other Crap
US Release Date: 2005-03-08
UK Release Date: 2005-03-07
Amazon affiliate
Amazon
iTunes

Boston-based Celtic punk outfit Dropkick Murphys are working on a new album for this summer. But to satisfy its rabid flag-waving, beer and whiskey-soaked fan base, the band has managed to put out this new collection of songs that only a diehard fan would've had already. A variety of b-sides, contributions to various compilations, and other split singles, this collection contains three of the four items mentioned in the title. The only thing it doesn't contain much anything of is the crap quotient. There are a few choice covers that will take a few listens to get a handle on, but generally it is a good collection of tunes that only this band would be able to pull off without much of a hitch.

The first of these tracks is "21 Guitar Salute", taken from a 2002 Face to Face compilation from Vagrant. It's basically a high-octane punk tune that contains little of the Celtic touches they've become known for. What is here are the sing-along chorus and party-inducing riffs. The guitars naturally kick in for the bridge but it's an obligatory solo, quickly snipped before it gets its footing. The bagpipes mark the tune's homestretch as lyrics refer to a "bloody revolution in the air". An odd ending? Perhaps, but it does work. More challenging to wrap your head around will be the cover of Creedence Clearwater Revival's "Fortunate Son". Staying true to the song, the lyrics are almost squealed out as if the lead singer is trying to attempt his impersonation of Tom Waits doing the number.

The problem with such collections is that there is rarely a workable tracklisting that would make the album sound somewhat cohesive. This is a perfect example, as "On the Attack" is a brutal hardcore punk tune that seems to be the antithesis of the previous song. A somewhat gentler tune would bridge the gap between the two. It is one of those that grow on you with each increase in the volume range. "You're a Rebel" is more of the mid-tempo rock punk stuff that loses its steam halfway through, making it an average listen at best. Faring better is the pleasing and fist-pumping "Watch Your Back", which takes no prisoners from the get-go. And go it does! Think of the Pogues backed by Social Distortion's Mike Ness and you should get the gist of the track. And speaking of the Pogues, Shane MacGowan's original band Nipple Erectors (The Nips) are covered with "Vengeance", sounding like it was lifted perfectly from the Rancid school of rock. The highlight when it comes to covers, though, is the surprisingly strong rendition of AC/DC's "It's a Long Way to the Top (If You Wanna Rock N' Roll)", a version even Angus might don a kilt for and a bagpipe in the heart of the ditty. And "Alcohol" is not too shabby, either -- a tune that mentions the preference for imbibing than having sex.

That isn't to say the entire album is a winner. I mean, do you really need to hear a freakin' dance remix of "Pipebomb on Lansdowne"? Not a thumping house beat but it just seems too forced from the beginning. "Informer" also comes off like a haphazard, unfocused garage tune without any real beat or bite aside from the occasional "Oi! Oi! Oi!" But they do give props to the Boston Bruins (remember hockey?) with a little jingle entitled "The Nutrocker", which is a tune they would hear growing up after "Hogan's Heroes" and prior to the Bruins game coming on. A few spots in the album have the impression that it's more filler than anything else, especially on "Never Again". But for each one of the clunkers there is a highlight, especially on the rockabilly punk feel oozing out of "Halloween". And the homestretch begins with the rousing, swaying waltz of "Wild Rover". It's the type of song you're looking for shoulders to put your arms over and steins to clink as MacGowan makes a guest appearance on the lovely ditty. That should have closed the album, but three more songs appear. It's not for everyone but gives you a taste of why the Dropkick Murphys are still easily hitting their strides.

6

So far J. J. Abrams and Rian Johnson resemble children at play, remaking the films they fell in love with. As an audience, however, we desire a fuller experience.

As recently as the lackluster episodes I-III of the Star Wars saga, the embossed gold logo followed by scrolling prologue text was cause for excitement. In the approach to the release of any of the then new prequel installments, the Twentieth Century Fox fanfare, followed by the Lucas Film logo, teased one's impulsive excitement at a glimpse into the next installment's narrative. Then sat in the movie theatre on the anticipated day of release, the sight and sound of the Twentieth Century Fox fanfare signalled the end of fevered anticipation. Whatever happened to those times? For some of us, is it a product of youth in which age now denies us the ability to lose ourselves within such adolescent pleasure? There's no answer to this question -- only the realisation that this sensation is missing and it has been since the summer of 2005. Star Wars is now a movie to tick off your to-watch list, no longer a spark in the dreary reality of the everyday. The magic has disappeared… Star Wars is spiritually dead.

Keep reading... Show less
6

This has been a remarkable year for shoegaze. If it were only for the re-raising of two central pillars of the initial scene it would still have been enough, but that wasn't even the half of it.

It hardly needs to be said that the last 12 months haven't been everyone's favorite, but it does deserve to be noted that 2017 has been a remarkable year for shoegaze. If it were only for the re-raising of two central pillars of the initial scene it would still have been enough, but that wasn't even the half of it. Other longtime dreamers either reappeared or kept up their recent hot streaks, and a number of relative newcomers established their place in what has become one of the more robust rock subgenre subcultures out there.

Keep reading... Show less
Theatre

​'The Ferryman': Ephemeral Ideas, Eternal Tragedies

The current cast of The Ferryman in London's West End. Photo by Johan Persson. (Courtesy of The Corner Shop)

Staggeringly multi-layered, dangerously fast-paced and rich in characterizations, dialogue and context, Jez Butterworth's new hit about a family during the time of Ireland's the Troubles leaves the audience breathless, sweaty and tearful, in a nightmarish, dry-heaving haze.

"Vanishing. It's a powerful word, that"

Northern Ireland, Rural Derry, 1981, nighttime. The local ringleader of the Irish Republican Army gun-toting comrades ambushes a priest and tells him that the body of one Seamus Carney has been recovered. It is said that the man had spent a full ten years rotting in a bog. The IRA gunslinger, Muldoon, orders the priest to arrange for the Carney family not to utter a word of what had happened to the wretched man.

Keep reading... Show less
10

Aaron Sorkin's real-life twister about Molly Bloom, an Olympic skier turned high-stakes poker wrangler, is scorchingly fun but never takes its heroine as seriously as the men.

Chances are, we will never see a heartwarming Aaron Sorkin movie about somebody with a learning disability or severe handicap they had to overcome. This is for the best. The most caffeinated major American screenwriter, Sorkin only seems to find his voice when inhabiting a frantically energetic persona whose thoughts outrun their ability to verbalize and emote them. The start of his latest movie, Molly's Game, is so resolutely Sorkin-esque that it's almost a self-parody. Only this time, like most of his better work, it's based on a true story.

Keep reading... Show less
7

There's something characteristically English about the Royal Society, whereby strangers gather under the aegis of some shared interest to read, study, and form friendships and in which they are implicitly agreed to exist insulated and apart from political differences.

There is an amusing detail in The Curious World of Samuel Pepys and John Evelyn that is emblematic of the kind of intellectual passions that animated the educated elite of late 17th-century England. We learn that Henry Oldenburg, the first secretary of the Royal Society, had for many years carried on a bitter dispute with Robert Hooke, one of the great polymaths of the era whose name still appears to students of physics and biology. Was the root of their quarrel a personality clash, was it over money or property, over love, ego, values? Something simple and recognizable? The precise source of their conflict was none of the above exactly but is nevertheless revealing of a specific early modern English context: They were in dispute, Margaret Willes writes, "over the development of the balance-spring regulator watch mechanism."

Keep reading... Show less
8
Pop Ten
Mixed Media
PM Picks

© 1999-2017 Popmatters.com. All rights reserved.
Popmatters is wholly independently owned and operated.

rating-image