The Meanest Times
(Born and Bred Records)

Spun: Dropkick Murphys

Publication YearIssue Date 

Boston is known for several things: the Boston tea party, the Boston Red Sox and--more recently--as the home of the Dropkick Murphys. Since their formation in 1996, the group has perfected their particular brand of Celtic-infused punk rock. The Meanest of Times, the band's sixth studio album, delivers the signature Dropkick sound once again.

Right from the energetic opener, "Famous for Nothing," the Murphys present themselves with a flourish of confidence proportionate to their experience. The Meanest of Times follows up the band's greatest success to date, The Warrior's Code, and delivers the same brand of chantable rock anthems. That's not to say the band's a bunch of one-note wonders--they present several different variations on a theme throughout The Meanest of Times--but the brunt of the album can be distilled into toe-tapping punk rock infused with cello, bagpipes and accordion. They may not ever be more than they are, but what they are is pretty good.

Freshly famous due to their involvement with The Departed and the Boston Red Sox, the Dropkick Murphys will undoubtedly cash in on that newfound exposure with The Meanest of Times. Thankfully, the album is a great introduction to the band for new fans and a welcome visit with old friends for others.