Dropkick Murphys
The Warrior's Code


4.5
superb

Review

by Mike Allen USER (107 Reviews)
December 8th, 2009 | 18 replies


Release Date: 2005 | Tracklist

Review Summary: The Dropkick Murphys find a way to deliver at an astronomical level once again, and settle a bit into a comfort zone.

In 2003, the Dropkick Murphys made a statement. “Blackout” was their most inspired and best record to date, and a blatant indication that the band had developed massively from debut “Do or Die.” With that said, many bands in the history of music have released just one spectacular record that exists well above their other works. The question for the Dropkick Murphys was this: Could they continue to grow and top “Blackout”? Well, some would say yes, but the argument can be made that the Murphys could not push the quality of the music past “Blackout” with their 2005 release “Warrior’s Code.” This particular record is likely the most accessible and well-known album by the band, and therefore a favorite by many Dropkick Murphys fans. To compare “Warrior’s Code” to “Blackout” however, does not do the record justice. “Warrior’s Code” is still an outstanding album in its own right, and marks a two year period (2003-2005) in which the band is at its finest.

When we last left the Dropkick Murphys, the band had perfected their sound; the harmonies were exceptional, bagpipes tremendous, and energy and exhilaration at an astronomical level. “Warrior’s Code” is very much the same in this light, for the record is brilliantly varied and features some of the band’s best work. Among these tracks is the Dropkick Murphys most famous song I’m Shipping Up to Boston. A great deal of the song’s popularity stemmed from its appearance in the Martin Scorsese picture “The Departed” from just a few years ago. I’m Shipping Up to Boston is a sailing song in which features an unforgettable accordion and banjo riff. The lyrics are quite humorous, for Barr and Casey exclaim, “I’m shipping off…to find my wooden leg!”

“Warrior’s Code” opens with a bang, despite the piano and bagpipe line at a low dynamic in the opening seconds of Your Spirit’s Alive. The introduction is quite misleading, for distorted guitars come thundering in twenty seconds into the track, and soon after Barr comes in with his terrifying growl. If the opener is an indication of anything, it is merely that the band is not wasting any time getting started. With this particular record, the listener is introduced to something very upbeat, intense, and invigorating with a few hidden gems in between. “Warrior’s Code” also doesn’t cease to be hilarious however, for Wicked Sensitive Crew is purely comic relief. Aside from the lyrics, the context of the song is amusing with Barr and Casey possessing enough coarse vocals to scare a grown man. Well, maybe I shouldn’t go that far. You can’t help, but smile when Barr shouts “I ain't ashamed I cried when Mickey died in Rocky II!” It is clear the Murphys are changing things up, the force and accelerated pace of Citizen C.I.A. holding true to this. Sunshine Highway, while appearing to be a bit too much of a pop song for the Dropkick Murphys features some of the band’s best instrumental work; the bagpipe, accordion, and guitars soar, demonstrating that the Murphys had a blast recording the song.

The ambition of the record is there; the Murphys developed a tremendous song out of Brendan Behan’s poem The Auld Triangle. This track in particular utilizes a misleading piano and irish flute intro not unlike Your Spirit’s Alive, and comes crashing in with heavily distorted guitars. The Auld Triangle is a much more brilliant track however, the lyrics are incredible and bagpipes fitting. In the track’s moments Barr indicates, “Oh! the day was dying and the wind was sighing, as I lay there crying in my prison cell.” This is not the most tragic piece of the record however, for the cover of Eric Bogle’s The Green Fields of France is a lyrical masterpiece. The Dropkick Murphys do the track a great deal of justice with piano-laden backing music and beautiful Irish flute leads. The lyrics themselves are enough to issue a tearjeaker, “And did you leave a wife or a sweetheart behind? In some loyal heart is your memory enshrined. And though you died back in 1916, to that loyal heart you're forever nineteen.” The Green Fields of France is an ode to the young ones that were lost in World War I, especially Willie McBride whose family only had “An old photograph torn, tattered, and stained” of him.

While “Warrior’s Code” may not be quite up to par with “Blackout” it is certainly one of the band’s best works, demonstrating their ability to be both sentimental and aggressive. This record may be an indication that a Celtic-punk classic is not impossible to expect from the Dropkick Murphys, but neither this nor “Blackout” is one. From the light Captain Kelly’s Kitchen to the lively Last Letter Home, the Murphys deliver an absolutely exceptional album that will forever be committed to their name.

Recommended Tracks:
The Warrior’s Code
Wicked Sensitive Crew
The Green Fields of France
I’m Shipping Up to Boston
The Auld Triangle



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Comments:Add a Comment 
EVedder27
December 8th 2009


6088 Comments


One more studio album and probably the EP Boys on the Dock and that'll do it.

Nagrarok
December 8th 2009


8259 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

You have my pos. Going to listen to this tomorrow, it's getting late here.

Murphys most famous song I’m Shipping Up to Boston. A great deal of the song’s popularity stemmed from its appearance in the Martin Scorsese picture “The Departed” from just a few years ago.


That's interesting, since I have seen the film but didn't know Dropkick Murphys back when I did. Will see if I recognize it.

You're doing a tremendous job on this discography. Keep it up for the last bits.

EVedder27
December 8th 2009


6088 Comments


Thanks a lot, the song actually wasn't really big until The Departed came out and then a lot of people found out about the band.

Nagrarok
December 8th 2009


8259 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

I do slightly remember something that could indeed very much sound like them in it. Was it near the beginning? It is an excellent film, btw.

AliW1993
Contributing Reviewer
December 8th 2009


7357 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

another excellent review. this is my favourite album by them, i just find most the songs far more catchy than those on blackout and i prefer the slightly more diverse sound here. they'll do well to top this imo.

EVedder27
December 8th 2009


6088 Comments


Thanks, and Nag I think it was at the beginning if I'm remembering correctly. Film is awesome.

renegadestrings
December 8th 2009


1450 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

i wish to god more of my friends listened to these guys... all i wanna do is drive around shouting the vocals to The Auld Triangle

Nagrarok
December 8th 2009


8259 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

I checked, and I remembered right away.

ninjuice
December 8th 2009


6760 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

The song is played when DiCaprio's character goes to jail so he can go undercover. I own it, so I'd better know.

a two year period (2003-2005) in which is the band’s finest.

Shouldn't it be "which is the band's finest"?
The Auld Triangle is a much more brilliant track however, the lyrics are incredible bagpipes fitting. In the track’s moments Barr indicates, “Oh! the day was dying and the wind was sighing, as I lay there crying in my prison cell.”

Neither sentence looks [totally] right to me.

EVedder27
December 8th 2009


6088 Comments


in which and which basically imply the same thing, and I don't think it really affects the flow of the sentence. Actually the second needs an "and" so I thank you for finding it.

Nagrarok
December 9th 2009


8259 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

He's right Mike. It should either be 'a two year period (2003-2005), which is the band's finest' or 'a two year period (2003-2005), in which the band is at it's finest.

EVedder27
December 9th 2009


6088 Comments


Alright I fixed it.

Ponton
Emeritus
December 9th 2009


5803 Comments


Good review Mike, I plan to check these guys out soon. I assume I'll start here since it is there most accessable.

EVedder27
December 9th 2009


6088 Comments


Thanks Greg, and I would say this is probably a great starting point.

WatchItExplode
December 9th 2009


3272 Comments


I'll never understand these guys, although my irish friends all revere them as the second coming...oh well: pos

what's next Veds?

Digging: Giant Squid - Minoans

EVedder27
December 9th 2009


6088 Comments


Thanks, I'm gonna finish the discography and then I'm not really sure what I'm gonna review. I'll leave you in suspense.

Nagrarok
December 10th 2009


8259 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Going for a 4 this time. Less standouts than Blackout imo.

AliW1993
Contributing Reviewer
December 10th 2009


7357 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

repeated listens will prove otherwise... i had this as a 4 for quite a while but now its a solid 4.5



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