Sound — 9
The Dropkick Murphys made what I had already thought good, even better. Since I was a kid I've always loved Celtic folk, Dropkick Murphys found a way to make it perfect. On their other albums, they have done traditional Irish folk, and songs that relate to actual problems, and this album is no exception. They do their folk with "Lannigan's Ball" and "Johnny I Hardly Knew Ya", and they don't fail to please. Dropkick Murphys have always been masters of their genre by taking their heritage music and translating it into some of the most intense Oi! music ever conceived.
Lyrics — 10
Dropkick Murphys have managed to take subjects as challenging as a growing divorce rate ("Walk Away" on Blackout) and put it into a song you can rock to. They have once again managed to capture attention with very fragile problems with today's society with songs like "Shattered", expressing the views one has of someone like a trusted friend or public figure, and how those views are shattered by witnessing the dark side of the person at hand. Though a subject such as a sex scandal in the Catholic church is taboo and very sensitive, they laid it out there in clear words describing a child being "abused by the parish priest" and then acquiring a gun to replenish pride. Another testament to this is "State of Massachusetts" which deals with children being taken away from negligent and abusive parents. These lyrics are very potent and get the point across without skipping a beat.
Overall Impression — 9
To tell the truth, this is one of their best albums. The first album I ever heard by them was "The Warrior's Code", and even though it is so praised, I was not a huge fan. To me, this album is third to Blackout and then Sing Loud, Sing Proud. I loved every song except for "Fairmount Hill" which is not necessarily a bad song, but it was a little to quiet for me. This album was very well done in that it sticks to classic Murphys by keeping a fast pace all the while maintaining steady singing and, of course, bagpipes.