Between the raucous vigor of the Dropkick Murphys and refined folk-punk of Flogging Molly, fans of Celtic-tinged music have had more than enough to satisfy their distinctive desires over the past decade. Serving as a more composed and less-inebriated version of the Dropkick Murphys (as some may refer to them), Flogging Molly has found their way into the hearts of thousands; crafting exuberant, yet relatable blue-collar anthems ever since their inception. Looking past the obvious asset of having a unique and full sound, Flogging Molly has been particularly successful due to the sincerity of their messages, whether this has been portrayed through the Irish folklore of Float or the intoxicated ambience of Drunken Lullabies. The aforementioned statement comes into play more than ever in Flogging Molly’s 2011 installment Speed of Darkness, which highlights the crippled state of the United States’ economy and the tribulations of the American dream.
“I spent twenty-seven years in this factory, and the boss man says, ‘hey you're not what we need.’ The penguins in the suits they know nothing but greed. It's a solitary life when you've mouths to feed, but who cares about us?
Within the opening stanza of Speed of Darkness’ second track, “Revolution” it isn’t far-fetched to perceive what the band had been going for with their fifth full-length record. Rather than detailing the release with songs of triumphs and tribulations from his homeland of Ireland like on Float, front man Dave King has inked a collection of songs are sure to hit home with blue-collar Americans. As a current resident of Detroit, King has been witness to the collapse of the auto industry and the chaos that has ensued as a result; serving as more than enough inspiration for Speed of Darkness. As powerful as much of the record is lyrically, it culminates with the stirring ballad “The Cradle of Humankind.” Although it may be the most idiosyncratic tune musically on the record, “The Cradle of Humankind” packs a gut-busting punch with King’s words, as they capture the grapple of the American dream with flying colors: “There will always be a roof and a dream above our heads. As long as I’m breathing, then forever I’ll be.”
Sonically, Speed of Darkness does not deviate a great deal from the band’s framework, which may be perceived as both a negative and positive fact. The Celtic-punk outfit’s meld of guitars, fiddle, Irish flute, drums, and occasional strings is still very relevant on their 2011 release, but little has been done to progress Flogging Molly’s music since Swagger. Despite the refusal to make melodious alterations, Speed of Darkness is really too irresistibly fun to fault a great deal. The group’s fifth album is an indication of a band that is still very proficient at what they do, which should not cease to exist in their electric live performances. Yet if nothing else is gathered from Speed of Darkness, Flogging Molly are at least demonstrating that their inspiration will continue to transform and evolve, even if their music remains relatively untouched.
3. The Heart of the Sea
4. Don't Shut 'Em Down
5. The Power's Out
6. So Sail Out
7. Saints & Sinners
8. This Present State of Grace
9. The Cradle of Humankind
10. Oliver Boy (All of Our Boys)
11. A Prayer for Me in Silence
12. Rise Up
Flogging Molly is a seven-piece Irish American celtic punk band that formed in Los Angeles, in 1997 and is currently signed to SideOneDummy Records. The band consists of Dave King (vocals, guitar, banjo, bodhrán), Bridget Regan-King (fiddle, uillean pipes, vocals), Dennis Casey (guitar, vocals), Matt Hensley (accordion, concertina), Nathen Maxwell (bass, vocals), Bob Schmidt (mandolin, banjo) and George Schwindt (drums, percussion).... read more