The Dropkick Murphys could only come from Boston with their mix of Irish folk, 77 style punk and blue collar politics. The most noticeable thing about ‘Sing Loud, Sing Proud!’ is the continuing shift in musical style from a street punk band punking up a couple of traditional Irish songs on earlier CD’s to a fully-fledged Celtic-punk outfit. This move has been helped along by the addition of Ryan Foltz (Mandolin & Tin Whistle), Marc Orrell (Guitar & Accordion) and Spicy McHaggis (Bagpipes).
The CD opens with the all bagpipes and soccer terrace chants of ‘For Boston’ the Boston College fight song. ‘The Legend of Finn MacCumhail’ follows, which was originally the b-side of ‘Curse of a Fallen Soul’ but its way to good a track to languish as a vinyl only b-side. Track 3 is the old union standard ‘Which Side Are You One?’ (also done by Billy Bragg). In the tradition and style of ‘Finnegan’s Wake’ and ‘The Fighting 69th’ the band cover the old Irish fighting song ‘Rocky Road to Dublin’. Next up in the vein of BAC is the full throttle bagpipe punk of ‘Heroes From Our Past’. ‘Forever’ is a slower almost (I don’t want to say it) power ballad. ‘The Gauntlet’ is catchy punk with the great melodies that the DKMs specialize in. ‘Good Rats’ is a chant it out traditional sounding Irish drinking song with the very sloshed sounding Shane MacGowan trading vocals with Al Barr. ‘The New American Way’ ‘The Fortunes of Way’ dedicated to Brian Deneke and ‘Ramble and Roll’ are all powerful straightforward punk tracks. Al Barr’s vocals sound great on ‘The Torch’ a slower acoustic number sound about how parents can breed ignorance & bitterness in their children. ‘A Few Good Men’ is a fast acoustic track with chanting backing vocals in the style of ‘Gangs All Here’. ‘Caps and Bottles’ from ‘Boys On The Docks’ is re-recorded here – great track – but I don’t know why it’s needed. Finally we have the much covered ‘Wild Rover’ (the toothless wonder Shane MacGowan on vocal vinyl only) played just right with a real barroom feeling and ‘The Spicy McHaggis Jig’ a bagpipe led chant about the a-fore mentioned Spicy’s love life. In short BUY THIS CD or better still BUY THE LP.