In the late '90s, the long-brewing Boston "oi" band Dropkick Murphys finally broke into the nationally touring, Warped Tour-subsidized big-time punk "scene."
Onto that broader platform -- which included more tour dates, better distribution, and higher stages in rooms that could hold more people -- the Murphys broadcast the signature sound they had been patiently brewing: anthemic pop-punk that had more to do with Epitaph than Cocksparrer and celebrated the triumphs of the working class.
By the way, did we mention these dudes like to drink? A bunch of skins-and-affiliated from Boston... do we have to mention it? Here are five of the booziest Dropkick Murphys jams to get your liver prepped for their show at the Pompano Beach Amphitheatre on Saturday, March 3.
5. "Caps and Bottles" (Sing Loud, Sind Proud LP, 2001)
If you really want to understand the Dropkick legacy of functional alcoholism, check out this track, which gives a glimpse into the sort of romantic lens that turns a wide-eyed young boy into a smelly old man who's pissed himself: "I bought a scally cap/Looked up to the older guys who drank at the Rat/Couldn't wait to grow up just to drink with the crew/Put my name on the map/And have a social few."
4. "Kiss Me, I'm Shitfaced" (Blackout LP, 2003)
The title of this track is actually a frequently stated phrase by Dropkick Murphys to their girlfriends, wives, mothers, and the women they see in alcohol-induced hallucinations.
3. "Vices and Virtues" (The Meanest of Times LP, 2007)
After all the talk of fighting, blurred vision, slurred speech, and generally impaired decision-making, we're proud of the Dropkick Murphys for finally writing a song about alcohol's downsides. "Whiskey, war, suicide, and guns/They took their lives/They took their sons."
2. "Barroom Hero" (Do or Die LP, 1998)
It's not hard to imagine the impressionable hooligan from "Caps and Bottles" waiting around the bar for the Barroom Hero to show up, all swagger, spit, and, though nearly on the verge of passing out into a pool of his own puke, manly pride. "He's been at it for years/Drinkin' balls and bears/Though his clothes are soiled and black/He's a big strong man with a child's mind/Don't you take his booze away."
1. "The Spicy McHaggis Jig" (The Gang's All Here LP, 1999)
Though not explicitly about drinking, we are certain everything about "The Spicy McHaggis Jig" -- from the song and its accompanying jig, to Spicy himself, Dropkick's portly and cuddly bagpipe player -- will drive you to drink.
Dropkick Murphys. With Frank Turner. 7:30 p.m. Saturday, March 3, at Pompano Beach Amphitheatre, 1801 NE Sixth St., Pompano Beach. Tickets cost $29.50 and go on sale Friday, December 9, at 10 a.m. Click here.