‘Signed and Sealed in Blood’
Born and Bred Records
It’s 2013, so it’s time for a new Dropkick Murphys album. The Irish punk Massholes have been releasing a new album every two years like clockwork and, on the heels of 2011’s “Going Out in Style,” “Signed and Sealed in Blood” is now hot off the presses. You know what you’re getting with a Murphys album: bagpipes, everything’s going to be loud, drummer Matt Kelly will prove that he has at least a casual understanding of conventional time signatures, and there’s gonna be a song about life back in Boston. In those regards, there’s nothing on “Signed and Sealed” that’s any different from, say, 2005’s “The Warrior’s Code.” But that’s perfectly alright, because the Dropkick Murphys modus operandi is just so damn fun. Even though albums come every two years, it always feels like it’s been too long. CV
The Cloquet, Minnesota three-piece of Jamie Kallestad, Tony Petersen and Dane Levinski have put together an album in “Behemoth” that’s about as meat-and-potatoes Americana as you can get. Album opener “All The Way to Me” is a harmonica-and-banjo infused ditty that comes off as a kind of Mumford and Sons-lite. And since Mumford and Sons could seriously use a little lightening, that works out really well for Saint Anyway. The band harmonizes well and, from a production standpoint, the whole album has a crisp, clean sound that serves to emphasize Saint Anyway’s unencumbered sound. The album also changes gears well, keeping the sound from getting stale: “13th Ave NE” is a beautiful, thoughtful ballad, while “White Light (and a Bottle of Wine)” is a jaunty, little piece of camp. CV
Saint Anyway performs at Gas Lamp on Friday, Jan. 11, at 9 p.m. Mr. Baber’s Neighbors and Luke Fox open.