Dropkick Murphys - Sing Loud, Sing Proud

You only have to see what being patriotic can do for your reputation. Simply look at what happened to Morrissey when he simply dared to drape himself in a Union Jack or more recently we had the Stereophonics who were accused of anti-English sentiments at there Welsh Stadium gigs. Of course there will always be a number of small minded bigots so its right that when racist opinions are expressed  (Hello The Bluetones, Hello William Hague" the people involved are knocked down.

The Dropkick Murhpys album "Sing Loud, Sing Proud" is an album deeply steeped in Irish Culture and you can't really knock them for it. The situation in Ireland is steadily improving, even if a small minority are still concerned with violence, and for the first time in these lads life they can feel proud of their homeland. If its been Louis Walsh' bastard offspring of Westlife and Samantha Mumba who have been setting a light the charts then this year looks likely for a host of guitar bands to take over. Ash are on their way back, JJ72 continue to climb, smaller acts such as Wilt are on the rise and of course we have the old DM's.

Taking the cue from Shane Macgowan the DM's talk of violence, politics and alcohol. Its the real spirit of revolution aided by several pints of the black stuff. Its looking back to the past Irish folk scene with tin whistles, accordions a plenty with a healthy dose of punk in their veins. "Sing Loud, Sing Proud" is the album the guys always set out to make. In a time where quiet is the new loud its a welcome relief to find a band that can combine quality lyrical aspirations alongside a punk wall of sound. While it may not be an essential purchase songs such as "For Boston" and "The Gauntlet" capture an energy. If you don't buy the album at least make the effort see the band live later in the year.

Alex McCann