Release Date: May 31, 2011
Record label: Borstal Beat Records
Genre(s): Pop/Rock, Alternative/Indie Rock, Alternative Pop/Rock
No one does maudlin quite like the Irish, and on their fifth studio album, Speed of Darkness, Flogging Molly show once again that no one does Irish quite like them. With a blend of rock and Celtic folk, the band continues to keep things more pastoral than punk, adding drive where it’s needed without ever taking away from their use of traditional instrumentation. Like rain on a shining summer day, Flogging Molly’s more traditional approach allows them to cultivate a sound that’s plaintive without being overly depressing, delivering lines like “It’s not a good day left to be in a fight/Living is hard through the struggles of life” with a smile on their faces and a bounce in their step on “Don’t Shut ‘Em Down.
Flogging Molly’s mixture of punk rock and traditional Irish music has always lent itself to songs about the struggles of working-class people. Frontman Dave King’s lyrics trade in equal parts hope and misery, although hope usually wins out. The band’s last studio album, Float, was recorded in Ireland and many of the songs were specifically concerned with that country.
Gone are the rabble-rousing drunken lullabies of old... The words ‘stable door‘, ‘horse‘ and ‘bolted‘ (not to mention serious feelings of trepidation) come to mind when contemplating the fact that Flogging Molly, those oh-so-reliable Guinness-guzzling, fun-loving Celtic punkers, have written an album of “modern American protest songs”. Lead single ‘Don’t Shut ‘Em Down’ is a middle-of-the-road pop song at best, a far cry from those rabble-rousing drunken lullabies of old.
Californian Celt-rockers return with their latest fanfare for the common man. Ian Winwood 2011 When The Pogues first emerged onto the bleak musical landscape with 1984’s thrilling Red Roses for Me, the group could barely have imagined that their clattering marriage of Celtic melodrama and punk energy would give birth to a whole new musical subculture. Not just that, but an increasingly popular subculture as well.
It’s difficult to look at photographs of the now-ravaged Detroit and remember that Motor City was once an oasis for industry – not to mention soul music — in the U.S. Flogging Molly, the 7-piece band that swirls spitfire punk tones with Celtic soul to create its own fusion sound, has recorded 12 songs that spotlight the energy, spirit, and proud tradition that bubble just under the city’s decay. Although the songs on Speed Of Darkness have a heavy theme, this fifth album by the band is anything but sorrowful.