THE MEANEST OF TIMES
COOKING VINYL 17.9.07
Like most Dropkick albums, ‘The Meanest Of Times’ sounds fine whilst I’m typing this in the comfort of my own home, but the ultimate Murphys experience involves heading straight into a seething moshpit with a bellyful of Guinness. Good times!
So does ‘The Meanest Of Times’ represent a radical departure for the Boston bruisers? Nah, does it ‘eck! As ever, it’s the expected mix of Celtic folk and bootboy punk. Partly recorded in their spiritual home of Dublin, the DM’s move even closer to their roots by employing Dubliners vocalist Ronnie Drew and the Pogues’ Spider Stacy on the almighty knees up, ‘Flannigan’s Ball’.
But, underneath the rowdiness, the DM’s exercise a social awareness in tune with their blue-collar background. Take album standout ‘Tomorrow’s Industry’, for example, which rallies against the lack of ethics in today’s business, whilst the theme of family unity runs throughout the album. The cover of Thin Lizzy’s ‘Jailbreak’ offers nothing new on the original, but that doesn’t stop ‘The Meanest Of Times’ from being ruddy good fun.