a little Celtic with your rock?
this ones for you

Grade - 1.7

released May 31st, 2011

from the album - Don't Shut 'Em Down - 2.0


from all music


The Los Angeles-based post-grunge seven-piece Flogging Molly are an interesting mix of traditional Irish music and spunky punk rock. Former Fastway acoustic guitarist/frontman and Dublin native Dave King formed the band with fiddle player Bridget Regan, guitarist Dennis Casey, accordion player (and former pro skateboarder) Matt Hensley, bassist Nathen Maxwell, drummer George Schwindt, and mandolinist Bob Schmidt. Getting their start playing regularly at the L.A. bar Molly Malones, Flogging Molly eventually took their music to the road; their explosive and passionate live show was the heart of the band, after all, and the band toured relentlessly around the world throughout their career. Their rowdy folk-rock punk revival sound has been compared to the likes of other Irish bands such as the Pogues and Black 47, but the raucous septet opted for its own unique brashness that defied genre lines. Flogging Molly released its debut, Swagger, in March 2000 on Side One Dummy and followed up two years later with Drunken Lullabies. Crafting exuberant anthems to raise up a full Guinness to, King often used personal touchstones -- such as his childhood in a war-torn Ireland, his father's premature death, and an eight-year exile in the United States -- for the band's compelling lyrical content. Within a Mile of Home appeared in September 2004, and the band continued to hit the road hard in support. The DVD documentary Whiskey on a Sunday was issued in July 2006; it was a candid look at Flogging Molly as both a band and seven individuals, and came with a ten-song CD of acoustic and live tracks. In early 2007, as the group geared up for a U.S. headlining run, Hensley amicably departed to spend more time with his family. In March 2007, Flogging Molly released the iTunes exclusive EP Complete Control Sessions. Their fourth studio album, Float, followed a year later.

Album Review

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.” While Flogging Molly hasn’t done much to innovate on their sound over the past decade or so, it doesn’t feel like they have to. Rather than growing stale, Speed of Darkness shows a band that’s only grown more confident in their style over the years, performing songs like “Rise Up” and “Revolution” with a self-assuredness that allows the listener to let them do their thing without worrying about their bona fides, giving them the chance to draw us into their world without ever questioning what they’re doing. If you’re already familiar with Flogging Molly, then Speed of Darkness isn’t going to disappoint, and if you’re not a fan yet, there’s no better time to jump on the wagon than today.

Track Listing

1 Speed of Darkness Casey, Hensley, King, Maxwell, Regan… 4:08
2 Revolution Casey, Hensley, King, Maxwell, Regan… 3:13
3 The Heart of the Sea Casey, Hensley, King, Maxwell, Regan… 3:42
4 Don't Shut 'Em Down Casey, Hensley, King, Maxwell, Regan… 3:40
5 The Power's Out Casey, Hensley, King, Maxwell, Regan… 4:38
6 So Sail On Casey, Hensley, King, Maxwell, Regan… 2:47
7 Saints & Sinners Casey, Hensley, King, Maxwell, Regan… 3:31
8 This Present State of Grace Casey, Hensley, King, Maxwell, Regan… 2:48
9 The Cradle of Humankind Casey, Hensley, King, Maxwell, Regan… 5:10
10 Oliver Boy (All of Our Boys) Casey, Hensley, King, Maxwell, Regan… 4:06
11 A Prayer for Me in Silence Casey, Hensley, King, Maxwell, Regan… 1:53
12 Rise Up Casey, Hensley, King, Maxwell, Regan… 3:33