Dropkick Murphys/Face to Face: Split CD

Whoah. Piss in a pint and I’ll drink it down. Crikey. What can I say about the Dropkick Murphys new tune “The Dirty Glass (Darcy’s Revenge)?” It’s a masterpiece of the spit-their-face-and-tellemtofeckoff-lost-love song, Irish style. Ken and Co have combined their growing-by-the-tune talents with Boston’s own Kay Hanley (her of Letters to Cleo fame) for a Shane MacGowan/Kritsy MacColl-style revenge rant that is, dare I say it, the best of it’s kind since the dynamic duo did it years ago in the “beers drank and tears shed” past.

It opens with a beautiful accordion/acoustic melody with Kay as title character Darcy, lamenting for her lost Murphy, whom she has lost to “health and good cheer.” Ken, as Murphy, soon rages on about how he was “five years younger” and corrupted by the elder Darcy. They battle of wits is propelled along and interrupted by brother Al Barr, who joins in chastising Darcy for corrupting his younger, drunker boyo of a sibling (One can almost picture poor Kenny wallowing away in some cop-filled, dirty little Boston bar, crying in his dirty stout.) So back-and-forth they go, placing blame, taking piss-shots and having a helluva time doing so.

Hanley strikes hard with: “Listen to the big shot with his pager on-call/you spent most of those nights in my bathroom stall” and asks furthermore “How was I to know he was just a fiend and a no good cheat?” to which Ken scores the knockout “Well, that’s all in the past, bitch, cause now I got it beat.” He sounds as if he’s having as much fun giving the kiss-off as Shane did all those years ago. Wicked good job, boys, wicked good job. These are the tunes that are my absolute pleasure to review.

The boys continue on with two covers, the familiar live staple “Fortunate Son” by Creedence Clearwater Revival, which is given the familiar Murphys bombast to grand effect. The real pleaser of the two is “21 Guitar Salute” by the often-overlooked Oi! band the Press. The tune itself is great, but it, too, is Murphy-ized, especially in the outro, and to grand effect, by Spicy’s bagpipes and Matt’s Celtic-style drums.

All in all, an appetite-whetting winner from the Dropkicks until their next effort. We can only imagine what that will be like.

Uh, as for the Face To Face contributions, I’ll just say that I’m not what one would call a fan of this type of band. They play California-style power-pop-punk that is fairly good for what it is, I guess. Much better than crap like Blink 182. Anyway, they start the thing out with “Fight or Flight” which is an OK original, and then cover “Road of the Righteous” by, of course, the Dropkicks and then “Wasted Life,” the classic by Stiff Little Fingers. Let’s just say that, in my opinion, these two covers are the best things this band has ever done and leave it at that.

So, go out and grab this for the DKM side, and long for their next release like the wino does for his next booze-induced euphoric ride.

February 2002

Review by Sean Holland

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