Flogging Molly


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The Mollys haven't shown much musical growth since their 2000 debut, Swagger, but it's more a case of if-it-ain't-broke-don't-fix-it than laziness. The band's blend of acoustic (guitar, fiddle, accordion, mandolin, drums) and electric (guitar, bass) instruments contributes to their singular sound, and they still sing and play every track with an almost blistering energy. Dave King, Flogging Molly's lead singer, songwriter, and lyricist, types out the words of his songs on a typewriter that was manufactured in 1916, the year of The Easter Rising, one of the great rebellions in Irish history. His lead vocals match the intensity of the band's playing, and together they serve up another collection of working class, and maybe drinking class, anthems. The music's Irish lilt and furious post-punk energy is evident on almost every track; even the two slow tunes "Float" and "The Story So Far" are full of the boozy, bleary-eyed, fatalistic poetry that makes Irish music at once romantic and grimly realistic. Most of the time, however, the band's blazing energy and instrumental swagger is able to lift your spirits despite the depressing subject matter. "On the Back of a Broken Dream" examines the plight of Iraq war vets who come home to rat-infested hospitals and an indifferent administration. Other tunes, including "You Won't Make a Fool out of Me," "Man with No Country," and "Requiem for a Dying Song" are more straightforward in their condemnation of the greed and heartlessness at the core of the capitalist system, with King fulminating at the powers that be with his usual passion. The band plays with incendiary power, giving the tunes the timeless spirit that infuses all great Irish rebel songs.

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