From Boston, Massachusetts, USA, the Dropkick Murphys, (their name taken from a local rehab centre) initially formed in 1996 with the sole intention of jamming punk cover versions. Original members, Mike McColgan (vocals), Ken Casey (bass), Rick Barton (guitar) and Matt Kelly (drums) soon progressed to writing original material, the future live staple Barroom Hero being their earliest effort. Split singles with the Bruisers and the Anti-Heros, and the Boys On The Docks EP, brought the Dropkick Murphys to the attention of Rancid guitarist/vocalist and Hellcat label boss Tim Armstrong. Produced by Armstrongs bandmate Lars Frederiksen, January 1998s Do Or Die was predictably rowdy. Blending traditional folk instruments (bagpipes and tin whistle) with the ever-present guitars, the band drew heavily on both Bostons Irish heritage and the citys punk rock legacy. With songs ranging from punk singalong to sombre acoustic folk it was a...
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