October 31, 2000
Side One Dummy
6201 Sunset Blvd., Suite #211
Hollywood, CA 99028
"Soaked Punk." "Celtic Ska." "Infectious Irish Thrash." Hailing from LA and fronted by Dubliner Dave King, Flogging Molly doesn’t fit any one musical style. Known primarily for their frenzied high impact live performances, Swagger is the new album from the band. Their sound is The Pogues meet The Mighty Mighty Bosstones, a heady blend of Irish folk, country, traditional punk, thrash and ska. They seem to be able to do the impossible-- bridging the gap between skateboarders and The Friendly Sons of St. Patrick.
Dave King is the heart and soul of the band. He is credited with writing all the songs as well as lead vocal and guitar. For the most part, the melodies are traditional Irish folk with excellent fiddle and drumming. King’s lyrics are good, especially on the most radio-friendly, and in my opinion best track "The Worst Day Since Yesterday." More Hank Williams than James Joyce, it has a killer country guitar-riff and an irresistible rock anthem hook. Although the arrangements can become somewhat meandering and some of the production a bit muddy, the overall spark that fuels their live performances remains. The rest of the songs are energetic and the musicianship excellent throughout the album
Swagger does just that. Flogging Molly struts right in-full of all the cock and braggadocio of an Irish rouge with a twinkle in his eye, Bushmill’s on his breath and quoting Yeats. You’ve got to love the Irish, and you’ll love Flogging Molly.
-- Thomi Sharpe
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