Dropkick Murphys

Like the Pogues and Black 47, those bad boys of Beantown in Dropkick Murphys effectively retool Irish folk music (fifes, fiddles, accordions, and bagpipes) into frenzied and ferocious punk anthems. While their riveting new album rocks and rants in typical Murphys mode, they shake up the sound with humor ("Wicked Sensitive Crew" and "Citizen C.I.A."), conviction ("Tessie"), and rousing reels ("I'm Shipping Up to Boston"). Still it's their tender rendition of "The Green Fields of France," a timeless tune that reflects on the ravages of war, and an engagingly pub-perfect serenade, "Sunshine Highway," that ultimately imbue The Warrior's Code with its emotional authority.

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Lee Zimmerman