The Best of Dropkick

Sound Asleep Records

“IT couldn’t be greatest hits, because there are none”, Dropkick’s frontman Andrew Taylor conceded in a recent online interview. It’s a characteristically honest if self-deprecating approach to things. The fact that the Edinburgh-based band has not featured extensively in the charts is one of life’s smaller mysteries.

This 27-song CD collection, also available on (30-track) double vinyl and on digital formats, showcases everything that Dropkick have perfected over the years: concise, well-crafted and instantly memorable songs about the vicissitudes of life and relationships, assembled with a matchless ear for melody and harmony. I Wish I Knew, from the 2016 album Balance the Light, is one of those tracks that, when you hear it for the first time, has you reaching for the ‘replay’ button.

The collection also gives new life to lesser-heard Dropkick songs, such as Obvious, a live favourite, which dates back to 2006 and was unavailable until its inclusion on 2014’s Good Vibes: The Dropkick Songbook. Figure It Out is about a sad case called Billy who accosts strangers on the bus with “his opinions on politics, Prince William and Suarez teeth”; a poignant newer song, Into the Background, alludes to Stuart Low, the band’s original bass player, who died last year. The album is dedicated to him.

Dropkick have often been likened to Teenage Fanclub and other jangle-pop bands but the quality of these songs, etched on 14 increasingly assured albums over more than a decade, is proof that they occupy a field of their own. It’s about time they had a chart hit.