The members of Dropkick Murphys aren’t short on famous friends. Besides collaborating with Shane MacGowan and having their now-ubiquitous Woody Guthrie adaptation, “I’m Shipping Up To Boston,” appear on the soundtrack to Martin Scorsese’s The Departed, the stalwart Boston punk band can legitimately claim The Boss as a fan. In fact, Bruce Springsteen lends his gruffest, crustiest vocals to “Peg O’ My Heart,” a revved-up version of the Ziegfeld Follies song that appears on Going Out In Style, the band’s seventh album. It’s a blast, and Springsteen’s presence is nothing less than intoxicating. But the rest of the disc brings the ruckus. From the Pogues-like frenzy of the title track—which features a slightly less exciting cameo from NOFX’s Fat Mike—to the mandolin-and-bagpipe-soaked anachronism of “Sunday Hardcore Matinee,” a bruising celebration of the ’80s hardcore scene, Style is nearly indistinguishable from Dropkick Murphys’ last few releases. And that’s a good thing. Thuggish, tongue-in-cheek, and never short on brass-knuckle hooks, the disc proves that—regardless of the Springsteen boost—the group still shoots for the pub more than the public at large. But besides being one more fun and heartfelt slab of well-crafted, Celtic-rooted punk, Going Out In Style serves another purpose: It provides that much more source material for Mark Wahlberg’s inevitable Dropkick Murphys biopic.
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