Signed and Sealed in Blood


If the title of Dropkick’s last album, Going Out in Style, hinted that the Boston Celtic-punk band’s career was over, this one’s rousing opener, “The Boys Are Back,” sets the record straight. It’s a foot-stomping rallying cry, cut with whirring bagpipes. Whereas Out in Style centered on a fictional character, Signed and Sealed finds the septet telling personal tales wrapped in frenzied fusions of reels, punk anthems, jigs and barroom rockers. “Prisoner’s Song,” a gloriously salty sea shanty etched with mandolin and snarling vocals, nods to Dropkick’s grimy version of “I’m Shipping Up to Boston.” Mumford & Sons banjoist Winston Marshall guests on “Rose Tattoo,” giving the raw tale of family bonds a muted folk edge. But the band has always buried sentiment in street punk, and even the break-up ditty “Don’t Tear Us Apart” is a raucous rocker. Indeed, the boys are back, and even if it’s business as usual, that’s hardly a bad thing. –Linda Laban


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