Release Date: March 1, 2011
Run Time: 45:43
2. Going Out In Style
3. The Hardest Mile
5. Memorial Day
6. Climbing a Chair To Bed
8. Deeds Not Words
9. Take ‘Em Down
10. Broken Hymns
11. Sunday Hardcore Matinee
12. Peg O’ My Heart
13. The Irish Rover
Inspiration for the album came when Ken Casey was looking for a funeral home to take a photo for the album cover. Casey said there was one body in the funeral home, an old man wearing a patriots jersey. Casey says he felt disrespectful and said a prayer, and started thinking about what the man’s life was like. And that’s really where the idea of Cornelius came from.
For the songs on the album, Ken Casey seems to be doing most of the main vocals. Which is kind of surprising considering Al Barr has almost always taken lead with his known voice. Though Ken does a fantastic job. The title track Going Out In Style is about throwing your own wake and turning it into one big party. The song is upbeat and embodies everything that an Irish wake should be. The track features fat Mike of NOFX, Chris Cheney of The Living End, and comedian actor Lenny Clarke.
The Hardest Mile is about how Irish immigrants were used to work on the toughest section of the railroads in Pennsylvania. Upon their death it was assumed that they died of natural causes. However, suspicion was raised that the railroad company didn’t want to pay them and just wanted rid of them. Later, when a forensic scientist examine the bodies, they discovered bullet holes in their skulls.
Cruel is a beautifully written song about family members that might not be the best people, but you love them anyway. I really enjoyed the chorus in Casey’s vocals. Barney McKenna will always be my favorite banjo player, but Jeff DaRosa could someday rank right up there with him. That is if he keeps turning out unforgettable banjo riffs, like the one on the track Climbing A Chair To Bed.
The Murphy’s, as always, show us that they are great at slowing down. Broken Hymns is a song about the other side of war. More specifically, the outcome and how families are affected. Broken Hymns has one of the best instrumental sounds of any song I’ve heard in 2011. It’s enough to give you chills. The song that I hope Governor Scott Walker hears in his sleep is Take Em Down. It’s a pretty simple union song that’s a bit repetitive. That’s also all a song like that needs to be. Something people can easily sing and memorize while standing out there in protest.
Both of Ken Casey’s grandmothers names are Peg. They were trying to convince him to do the song Peg O’ My Heart, which almost didn’t make it on the album. The song was originally an old timey tune like Tessie. It was a lot of work for the Murphy’s to remake the song, but guest vocals by the one and only Bruce Springsteen helped out a little you could say. By little I mean it’s Bruce frickin’ Springsteen!
Now, if you’re going to cover a Clancy Brothers song, that was also done by The Dubliners and The Pogues, you better make sure you don’t butcher it. Luckily, the Dropkick Murphy’s are not the type of band that would let that happen. Simply put, The Irish Rover is a great song still done with the Murphy’s style. Though they’ve never really change their sound much, the Murphy’s are a perfect example of if it ain’t broke don’t fix it. They still make great music and it still sells. My only complaint is, that they are still using Warner Music group as their distribution. Which is great for them, but terrible for fans. Especially in a day and age were distributing music is easier than ever before. I just hope I don’t get sued for mentioning Warner music group. They seem to be like Beetlejuice, if you say their name three times, they will appear in front of you with a lawsuit.