The album's clunkiest boilerplate, the broguey, Pogues-indebted duet "The Dirty Glass," not only contains no romance; it also requires you to stretch your imagination across the Atlantic in order to accept it for what it is. "Kiss Me I'm Shitfaced" is a close second, a stereotype set to music that, alone, could make you wonder why Woody Guthrie's hip daughter Nora donated unused lyrics for the band to gussy up on Blackout's title track. The answer is its hearty, populist-edged straight rockers -- clearly the first language of razor-throated co-frontmen Al Barr and Ken Casey -- such as "Buried Alive," a guitar-seared story-song about a deadly mining disaster. The Dropkick Murphys are more equipped than most bands to craft an album that rekindles the true spirit of working-class punk. Let's hope they don't instead go jigging into gimmicky oblivion, waving an ethnic flag.
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