Get SF Weekly Newsletters
Pin It

Hear This 

Wednesday, Oct 7 1998
Comments
The Dropkick Murphys
For Boston street punks the Dropkick Murphys Irish pride is the only thing more important than a good, cold lager. Like their British oi forebears, the DMs believe that drinking with the boys, laboring on the docks, and growing up working class is not only a way of life but the only way to live.

The bands of the original English oi movement -- from the Business to the Gonads -- sought respite from the excesses of late-'70s punk. They celebrated street life and working-class backgrounds with stripped-down chord progressions and down-to-earth lyrics. These days the Dropkick Murphys are the inheritors of that spirit and the premier band in a resurgence of American oi.

The Irish-American outfit started three years ago when ex-singer Mike McColgan, bassist Ken Casey, guitarist Rick Barton, and Matt "Tough Sticks" Kelly began thumping their chests and playing U.S. pub punk in the basement of a barbershop. Within a year, Rancid's Lars Frederiksen had caught a show and produced the band's first full-length, Do or Die. The album -- the musical equivalent of a St. Patrick's Day parade rolling through a Teamsters meeting -- fuels itself with beer, rowdy chants, and traditional song. On "Cadence to Arms," a new arrangement of the bagpipe tune "Scotland the Brave," the band weaves together traditional Celtic instrumentation and punk credibility. It begins with the original bag-pipe melody, slowly blends into a guitar crunch that mimics the bagpipes, then explodes into a full-blown anthem. In one song, it's everything the Murphys do best: The punks can dance, the working man can relate, and the Irish can be proud.

-- Robert Arriaga

The Dropkick Murphys open for Agnostic Front on Friday, Oct. 9, at 9 p.m. at the Maritime Hall, 450 Harrison (at First Street). U.S. Bombs and Maximum Penalty play first. Tickets are $10-12; call 974-0634.

About The Author

Robert Arriaga

Comments

Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment

Slideshows

  • The Soiled Dove
    Vau de Vire presents The Soiled Dove, a Barbary Coast themed dinner-theater complete with the Emperor himself stumbling around in a drunken stupor. Photographs by Beth LaBerge.
  • 4th Annual Mr. Marina Competition
    Mike Thomas was announced Mr. Marina 2015 on Wednesday, March 18th. Chubbies, spray tans and unitards hit the stage for the 4th Annual Mr. Marina competition raising $195k. Highlights included a great rendition of Sia's Chandelier and a marina inspired "Fancy" performance. Photographs by Calibree Photography.

Popular Stories

  1. Most Popular Stories
  2. Stories You Missed