Label: Born & Bred Records
‘11 Short Stories of Pain & Glory’ is the ninth studio album by the Boston finest, Dropkick Murphys, that unfortunately are not any more the crushing rebellious passionate youngsters that spontaneous picked up the local name of a bar to form a punk/oi band in order to express their questioning about society in the most straightforward punk way. In a such a peculiar way, still these guys, even though they have disappointed so many times their loyal fan base from the early days, sound once again classy and closer than anyone else to every day’s folk soundtrack. I have to admit that I was less than enthused by the singles ‘Blood’ and ‘Paying My Way’ or the too cheesy/too easy to write/compose like ‘First Class Loser’ and the closer, ‘Until The Next Time.’ Ok, nobody is claiming that Dropkick Murphys are here to change the world but half of the album is way too effortless, no sweat written that makes you think if this is their laziest release or what. The most interesting moments seem to be the two covers, the opening ‘The Lonesome Boatman’ (first recorded by The Fureys in 1969) and the glorious anthem ‘You’ll Never Walk Alone’, both being born to make arenas scream with their ‘oooh – ooohhh’ sing along or the legendary chorus that every hooligan or football fan knows by heart. ‘Rebels with a Cause’ and ‘I Had A Hat’ are just good, solid, punk rocker tunes, same for ‘Kicked To The Curb,’ that I really sounds amusing. ‘Paving My Way’ has a ridiculously similarity to Queen’s ‘We Will Rock You,’ while ‘4-15-13’ is sentimental and deals with the Boston marathon victims, without getting political, just focusing on the victims. Yes, I was expecting much more than these guys but their fan base is now so much open winded that commercial success is determinate, so probably this is the reason the whole album in its entirety is a rather weak release, a typical (mini) middle-aged crisis cross section. It may sound nostalgic or fun to many, but arguably not dangerous to anyone. Kudos for the excellent, magnificent artwork cover!