The year was 1999 when this record hit the music stores. March 9, 1999 and I was only 16 years old. I recall this album hitting the record stores and I didn’t buy it. My step-cousin Joseph purchased it and while I was trapped in a cycle of Christian punk and hardcore records, as well as dreaming of how to start a record label, he was collecting records faster than I ever could before I moved out of my mom’s house. This record first got me as a teen, as I had to record videos from Punk O Rama Television, and eventually call the Epitaph hotline. Suffice to say, that by 1999, I fell in love with all things punk rock, and in the summer, finally picked up “The Gang’s All Here”. I went back to listen to it today, for this review, and can truly say it’s one of the finer records from Dropkick Murphys.
As you listen to the record, you are not going to really notice many singles. There wasn’t that many. “10 Years of Service” was the only major single and video on the record, but that didn’t matter to me, every song on this record stands out with sing-a-long choruses, and a punk rock attitude that I still have in my soul today. From the opening moments of “Roll Call” To “Devil’s Brigade”, you are thrown in for an eclectic blend of powerful punk rock tunes and Boston based working class ethos. The band puts on a showcase of their best work in this record, even if All Barr had replaced original singer Mike McColgan. I loved this record, and for 42 minutes, you’re going to love it too.
Overall, “The Gang’s All Here” is one of those timeless releases that bridged the gap between “Do Or Die” and “The Singles Collection”, but really stood out for the band. I didn’t get to see them tour a lot, but wish I did when they took on The Deal on tour. Either way, the band is still alive and well today, and “The Gang’s All Here” is one of my top albums of all time.
If nothing else, you should definitely check out this record for the awesome “Amazing Grace” tune with bagpipes and all. This is one record that is heavy, but not like the rest of their discography. It’s well produced, well rounded, and high quality. Lars Frederiksen and Hellcat Records did really good with the recording of this one, and I’m still a fan after all of these years.