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Friday, May 24, 2024

CD review: Flogging Molly

Artist: Flogging Molly

Album: Speed of Darkness

Label: Borstal Beat

Rating: 3

The formula for Speed of Darkness is a simple one: Celtic folk + punk rock = Flogging Molly. If you already knew this equation, you pretty much understand the experience of listening to the Los Angeles-based Irish rock band’s latest album.

It’s not that the songs aren’t catchy. The title track gets the album off to a brisk start, and “Saints & Sinners” and “Revolution” are exuberant enough to get you up and dancing (or at least jumping up and down, which sometimes feels more appropriate). The band’s expert use of fiddle, accordion and mandolin give the otherwise-unremarkable punk vibe an extra something special and some of the slower-tempo tracks are downright soulful. It’s truly traditional Celtic folk music reinterpreted for the head-banging 21st-century set.

There’s nothing new here, though. Most of the up-tempo tracks have the same driving beat and aggressive vocals. With the exception of a few more relaxed and slower songs, Speed of Darkness continues to rely on Flogging Molly’s unique folk and punk musicality to provide its “so what?” factor. Except now, listeners may really begin wondering if they even have an answer.

Give these tracks a listen: “Saints & Sinners,” “The Cradle of Humankind,” and “A Prayer for Me in Silence”

For fans of: Dropkick Murphys, Social Distortion and The Eagles

– Robin Migdol

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