Monday, June 11, 2012

Song Of The Week: 6/10/12

Song: "Perfect Stranger"

Artist: Dropkick Murphys

Album: "The Gang's All Here"

Year: 1999

"Perfect Stranger" appears to be a song about battling an inner conflict with one's self. The vocalist appears to not recognize himself anymore. He's lost his identity in a way. Definitely a true battle against mental health problems. The Dropkick Murphys formed as a band back in 1996, hailing from Quincy, Massachusetts, just outside of Boston. The band has been influenced from everything from punk legends The Ramones and The Clash, to the Irish rock stylings of The Pogues, as well as the churning heavy metal sound of AC/DC. When they broke on the music scene, they had a very hardcore or street punk sound. As the years went on, the band began to incorporate more of a Celtic punk style, very much the sound that represents the band currently. The band was formed by friends Mike McColgan and Ken Casey. McColgan, however, would depart the band to follow one of his lifelong dreams of becoming a Boston firefighter. With one album under their belt with McColgan on vocals, 1998's "Do Or Die", the Murphys had to settle on a new lead singer to continue on. Al Barr, lead singer of Boston hardcore band The Bruisers, was selected to be the new lead singer of the band and, to this day, remains in place as the band's lead singer, at times sharing vocal duties with bassist Ken Casey. While the band has garnered it's share of fans and cult followers worldwide, in their hometown of Boston, Massachusetts, the band has become part of the fabric of the community. They are a blue collar band in a blue collar community, which is part of the mutual love and respect the band shares with the fans in Boston. Their is probably no band out there that wears their hometown of their sleeves quite like the Murphys do with Boston. Though the band isn't overly political in it's songs, the Dropkick Murphys definitely represent the common man and are very much pro union, standing up for worker's rights. After years of building up a cult following, the Murphys also started crossing over with some mainstream success as well. In 2004, the band had a lot of success with their single "Tessie", which ultimately became the theme song to the Boston Red Sox Championship season after suffering through an eighty-six year drought. In 2005, "I'm Shipping Up To Boston" from the album "The Warrior's Code" exploded after being featured in the Martin Scorcese movie, "The Departed". The song is also a staple at all major Boston sporting events as well. In 2007, the album "The Meanest Of Times" reached number 20 on the Billboard music charts. And finally, in 2011, the band's album "Going Out In Style" debuted at number six on the Billboard charts, which was the highest position the band ever held. In their sixteen year career, the Dropkick Murphys have released seven studio albums, three compilation albums, three live albums, three EP's, eleven splits and have been featured on more than thirty various artist compilations or soundtracks. Currently, the band has confirmed it's been working on what would be their eighth album which they hope to have out by September of 2012.

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