For years, Dropkick Murphys have been able to produce music with a distinctive flair. Probably best described as ‘enthusiastic’, they have succeeded in creating a new tone, Irish-American Rock. Boston has always been at the forefront in their music, and their matter-of-fact lyrics, coupled with a punk discord and splashed with a unique choice of instruments (such as bagpipes, accordions, and mandolins), have always set them apart. With their newest album, Signed and Sealed in Blood, one fact is apparent: they haven’t changed.
As technology advanced in the realm of computerized entertainment, so too did scores and soundtracks. Sadly, not always for the better. For a time, especially around the invention of disc-reading consoles, the soundscapes crafted for video games were sorely lacking in the mid 90’s. Though still prevalent in Japan, there was a severe deficit of imagination when it came to the music in mainstream Western games.
From the first few lines to the last few chords, you are in for a ride! It is a very simple ride: the sort you might experience going to and from work each day, or maybe on that hour-long trip to Grandma’s for the holidays. While there were a few tracks that stood out, this album is the travel equivalence of a police car pulling over a speeding motorist.
It is very true that Steve has a fine ear for hearing music on an artistic scale, so he tries to rate it that way. Matt, on the other hand, has professed on numerous occasions that his ratings are based on his own musical preferences. I try to follow the fine line between both ideas. My first response is usually a like/dislike gut reaction, but I always try to nit-pick and pull out the positives and negatives as I go, especially if they contradict my initial idea.
You know you should get to work, or get to sleep, or just get calm—but you can’t. Without prompting, your heart starts racing, your blood starts pounding, and your breath starts coming up short. A manic mood overtakes you, spurring movement and placidity alike.
While I have been a fan of Offspring in my youth, I feel like I’ve grown out of the youthful message and lyrics of their original work. So, I was pleasantly surprised by their new album, Days Go By. From the first tracks you hear a familiar tone, yet there is a new complexity in their composition; a new adult tone in the lyrics that is almost unheard of coming from the voice of Dexter Holland.
E, E, E, C, E, G, G
Grab your sword and shield. Reload your assault rifle. Find the power-up and save the princess. Whatever the origins of a player’s love, everyone has that first game that set him or her on course towards callused thumbs, wasted hours, and difficult bosses, all in search of a proverbial belt-notch.
It’s been a while since Ska was on the scene in music, but The Pandemics prove that not all is lost. A full-fledged eight-piece band, they bring back the 1990’s sound with a New York edge. As a blend of jaunty guitar and piano work, with real dedication to the horns and East coast attitude in their lyrics, I find myself flowing along to their music as early as the first few chords.
We Americans were unlucky in the 90’s. Sure, plenty of good music came out of that decade, but it wasn’t really substantial. The radio co-opted main-stream radio. And while I listen to anything, on occasion, they have changed from their roots. Pop sold sex, Rap propagated anger, and Rock said…nothing. The ‘Protest Song’ was lost, and this was a tragedy for Americans.