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The Sex Pistols are rotten, but show up to watch tourmates the Dropkick Murphys beat their asses

Wednesday, Sep 3 2003
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Rage is the bloody hellfire that powers kids up off the couch and into the mosh pit of life with one goal in mind: to fuck shit up. Back in 1976, the Sex Pistols stormed a complacent U.K. music scene with just such a fury, calling for total annihilation of bourgeois hypocrisy. Their piss-off attitude, aimed at one and all, resonated with a restless generation of youngsters well aware of the status quo's false sheen. Thus, punk rock was born.

Nearly 30 years later, the progenitors of a rebellion now co-opted by car commercials and Top 40 radio are mounting a so-called reunion tour under the guise of the "original" Sex Pistols: Pre-Sid Vicious bassist Glen Matlock has joined Johnny Rotten and the old gang quite obviously because he still burns with indignation at having blown his first chance at rock 'n' roll infamy. But Matlock aside, what could this group of geezer Brits really have to rant about in middle age? Excessive alimony dues? The stock-popping depletion of IRAs? Fact is, anger doesn't wear well on those over 30.

Which is likely why savvy concert producers beefed up this tour with the Dropkick Murphys , whose new album, Blackout, runs the gamut of relevant (and melodic) punk aggression, from misbegotten drinking airs to anthemic chants for working-class solidarity. A hearty band of Boston-Irish blokes who pay homage to their roots by adding bagpipes and mandolin to serrated guitars, the Murphys uplift while tearing down. And unlike their Rotten-led elders', their venom is real.

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Sam Prestianni

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