While it has been almost four years since Dropkick Murphys dropped a new album, 11 Short Stories of Pain and Glory was entirely worth the wait! Unlike previous material, this time out the band chose to seclude themselves in the middle of a desert in El Paso, instead of in their native Boston, to record their music. It has be said that the commitment to creating a masterpiece was well worth cutting themselves off from their friends and family.
For any fan, it is clear that the band pour their hearts and souls into their music delivering kick-ass punk rock tunes influenced heavily by classic Irish folk music. This is none more evident than on opening track "The Lonesome Boatman"; gang chants, whistles and classic drums, this is, indeed, the sound of the Dropkick Murphys! "Rebels with a Cause" is the perfect follow-up with lead singer Al Barr and bassist Ken Casey trading vocals in perfect harmony.
Now it wouldn’t be the Dropkick Murphys without bagpipes, right? That’s exactly what we get with "Blood", the best example of old-skool Dropkicks. Although there is a healthy dose of what fans have come to expect from the Murphys, this record also demonstrates that the band have grown and evolved over the decades. Other tunes touch on more serious aspects of life, like doing what you need to do to get by with "Paying My Way", not to mention the album's most touching track, "4 15 13", a tribute to all those lost in the tragedy of the Boston Marathon bombing. Of course it’s not all serious, with the Murphys reminiscing about misbehavior and the fun of youth in "Sandlot". The fact is, I could easily go on and on about every track and the sheer brilliance of each, but who really wants to read a novel!
11 Short Stories of Pain and Glory, in my opinion, is the band's most triumphant outing to date and the blood sweat and tears that have been poured in during their self-imposed isolation shines through. The wait for the Dropkick Murphys' spectacular return has been well worth the wait!
11 Short Stories of Pain And Glory Track Listing:
01. The Lonesome Boatmans
02. Rebels with a Cause
05. First Class Loser
06. Paying My Way
07. I Had a Hat
08. Kicked to the Curb
09. You’ll Never Walk Alone
10. 4 15 13
11. We’ll Meet Again