Dropkick Murphys - Singles Collection Volume 2 (Cover Artwork)
Staff Review

Dropkick Murphys

Singles Collection Volume 2 (2005)


Ahh, the B-sides & rarities compilation; while they often appear as an attempt to pull away from a record contract, they are more commonly presented after the band has separated. A last chance for fans to hear something from their favorite bands and/or a kick in the face to those diehards who browse through each jewel case and dusty vinyl sleeve looking for that last hard-to-find song. The scenario is slightly different for Boston's Dropkick Murphys. The group, who firmly stands up for the working class, certainly instills that passion towards their music. These 23 songs, which form their second Singles Collection in five years, were recorded between 1998 and 2004 are the perfect example of a band who labors unmercifully.

This time around, the Murphys decided to emphasize on their covers anthology. Renditions ranging the extensive spectrum of rock music with classics like AC/DC ("It's A Long Way To The Top (If You Wanna Rock 'n' Roll)") and CCR ("Fortunate Son") all the way down the ladder to the bands that influenced them directly like Stiff Little Fingers ("Nobody's Hero") and the Misfits ("Halloween"). In addition to a slamming cover of Motörhead's "Rock‘n'Roll" that features Dicky Barrett of the Mighty Might Bosstones taken from the tribute, Dropkick put forth credible versions of "Watch Your Back" and "Working" originally recorded by Cocksparrer. Ripped from the Tessie EP is the Boston Bruins' theme song "The Nut Rocker (Nutty)" -- the upbeat bagpipes and slick guitar jingle will amp up any hockey fan for the upcoming season.

The compilation is not without originals though; the hardcore "On the Attack" from the 7" single Curse Of A Fallen Soul is one of the hardest songs the DMs have laid down. From the group's split with the Business is their collaboration "Mob Mentality." Tightly concluding the assemblage is the Blackout B-side that also appeared on Rock Against Bush Vol. 2: "We Got the Power," a union support number held up by a guitar hook that takes their homage to CCR and mixes it seamlessly with their Cocksparrer influence.

Aside from "Pipedown On Lansdowne (Dance Remix)" the collection flows quite nicely as if it were a full-length record, despite the wide range of music being covered. With the recent release of The Warrior's Code the Dropkick Murphys show no signs of slowing down and I would not be surprised if down the line another singles collection lands on my desk for review.