A dropkick to success

Aug. 24, 2005, midnight | By Alexis Egan | 18 years, 7 months ago

With fresh tracks and a new feel, "The Warrior's Code" stands proud

Perfect Irish punk is hard to come by. You don't want too many bagpipes, but without them, the songs seem lacking. A proper balance between old and new is needed; too many traditional ballads seem outdated, while too few is too modern. And variety is just as important. For the first time in their nine year career, Dropkick Murphys succeeds in all aspects of the Irish punk genre.

Melding clashing guitars, undulating bagpipes and catchy lyrics, "The Warrior's Code" opens up an entire new style for Dropkick Murphys. Instead of their normal vocals, mostly angry shouting (exemplified in "The Gang's All Here" from 1999 and "Blackout" from 2003), lead singer Al Barr seems mellower in the newest songs.

While some may feel that Barr's vocals still consist of shouting loudly, the lyrics underneath it all remain the best part of "The Warrior's Code." After listening to songs like "The Fields of France" and "Sunshine Highway," one can easily forgive Barr's not-so-perfect singing voice. "France" follows a man inquiring about a fallen soldier, wondering passionately, "Did you really believe them when they told you 'The Cause?'/Did you really believe that this war would end wars?"

On previous albums, their mediocre tunes outnumbered the stellar ones, but in "The Warrior's Code" all of the songs shine true. From tradition ballads to bittersweet lamentations about war, Dropkick Murphys gives every track a special twist, allowing each song to stand out in its own way. Improving greatly from their old pieces, the tunes carry more humor and charge, plus considerably more class.

Easily the most heartfelt track of the CD is "Last Letter Home," about a dedicated fan that died while serving in Iraq. In his last letter home he requested that when he dies a Dropkick Murphys song be played at his funeral, which they did, in addition to writing a song for him. Not only is the story emotional, but the dirge is as well. With an interesting new style, they play as though the song is a letter, going back and forth from home to the war.

A perfect balance between slow ballads and fist-pumping beer chants makes "The Warrior's Code" a perfect album, especially with the extra track "Tessie," which was the Red Sox's official anthem. Claiming that this song led the Boston team to success, Dropkick Murphys' lyrics catch on quickly: "You know we couldn't live without you/Red Sox, you are the only only only." Right back at ya.

Alexis Egan. Alexis is a (very) short junior, who is very pleased to be writing for Chips Online with all her friends. Along with writing, her other hobbies are playing soccer, reading about Mount Everest and listening to any Irish music. Her favorite movie is The Princess … More »

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