11 short storiesAfter almost two decades of the Boston group’s bagpipe-driven, beer-punk shout-a-longs, you either love Dropkick Murphys or simply don’t understand them.

Personally, 11 Short Stories Of Pain And Glory makes me more patriotic of my Irish heritage than kissing the blarney stone on St. Patricks Day. Opening with the tin whistles of The Fureys’ The Lonesome Boatman, this could be the most Irish the group have ever sounded, and when Al Barr’s vocals begin in Rebels With A Cause it feels like and sonic pint of Guinness has been slid down the bar into my hand. Bagpipes, pub anthems, fast paced drums and mosh-inducing riffs litter the record. I’ll even overlook the sextets version of You’ll Never Walk Alone (Everton > Liverpool) because it is the best track on the album.

11 Short Stories Of Pain And Glory is out January 6 via Warner.

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