Dropkick Murphys The Singles Collection Vol. 2

While not a completely solid collection (but hell, what compilation is at 22 tracks?), this disc complies a fairly decent group of non-album Murphys tracks from 1998 to 2004. It’s astounding to think how prolific the band managed to be in what is clearly a pretty small time period, churning out gems like the killer opener "21 Guitar Salute” and a fun, drunkenly rousing cover of "It’s A Long Way To The Top.” On the other hand rests the short-lived novelty of tracks like "Pipebomb in Lansdowne,” in which the intrinsic value seems to be its misuse of a foul-language censoring bleep. Still, there is no denying the power of these proud Irish boys, whose weakest songs still manage to ring with a strength and joy audible in every strummed chord and shouted lyrics. At their best, however, the group displays an innate ability to translate the frustrations and passions of the proud working class to which they belong, and on tracks like their cover of Sham 69’s "Hey Little Rich Boy,” they do just that. Featuring a few other unique covers by artists such as Motörhead and the Misfits, and a whole slew of rarities, this is a release guaranteed to please most any fan of the signature Murphys sound. (Epitaph)