As one of the tracks on Signed and Sealed in Blood declares, Boston’s favorite Celtic punk rock sons the Dropkick Murphys are back and they’re looking for trouble. Signed and Sealed in Blood is loaded with the kind of energy, passion and raucous chorus-like chants that have been somewhat muted on their past couple of releases, and it is a welcome relief for those who have been missing some of the pump your fist spirit that filled the band’s earlier records.
They continue to revel in the things they value most—friendship, loyalty and living life to the fullest—and you can’t help but get caught up in the excitement, especially on the raucous “The Battle Rages On.” The gang’s punk rock verve and swagger are on full display on the fun “Out on the Town,” the ballad “Rose Tattoo” explodes into an epic party song halfway through and you’ll probably exhaust yourself if you try to keep up with the blistering pace of “Burn.” Thankfully, though not surprisingly given the band’s penchant for humor, when thy slow it down a little and offer their unusual take on the Christmas season with the decidedly non-sentimental “The Season’s Upon Us,” you can’t help but laugh and cringe all at once.
Signed and Sealed in Blood is the band’s strongest release in some time. You’ll laugh, you’ll shout, you’ll raise your fists and feel like raising a glass, but in the end that’s all the Murphys really want you to do.