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Irish punk comes of age

Flogging Molly - Float
(Side One Dummy Records)
3 1/2 stars (out of 5 stars)
Reviewed: Mar. 14, 2008
Flogging Molly

Review by Tony Bonyata

There's no better time for the Gaelic-infused punk band Flogging Molly to release their new album than just prior to St. Paddy's Day - when corned beef & cabbage is consumed and pints of Guinness are hoisted high amid toasts of "Sláinte!"

On the Los Angeles-based band's fourth effort entitled Float, the seven members, led by singer/songwriter Dave King, still deliver the high-octane moshing reels that have fueled the Vans Warped kids for the last seven years. But like a good number of those young punks that have since grown up since Flogging Molly's first Vans Warped performance in 2000, the band themselves have also matured while still hanging onto a bit of their youthful exuberance.

Float was produced by Ryan Hewitt (Red Hot Chili Peppers / Tom Petty) and was also the first Flogging Molly album that was actually recorded in Ireland (at Grouse Lodge Studios in County Westmeath). And while the band's style (one undeniably influenced by The Pogues) has always had traditional Irish sounds dyed in the fibers of their music, many of the songs featured here have a more authentic Gaelic wind blowing through them, perhaps due to their recording environs.

Fans of their more energetic Irish-steeped rockers from their the previous albums, Swagger, Drunken Lullabies and Within A Mile Of Home, will revel in numbers like the lively opener "Requiem For A Dying Song," as well as "(No More) Paddy's Lament," "Man With No Country" and the beautiful "Between A Man And A Woman," which are all powered by acoustic guitars, banjo, fiddle, accordion, tin whistle and pounding percussions.

Songs such as the stout folk balladry of "Us Of Lesser Gods," The Story So Far" and the poignant title track finds King searching deep inside for answers, where the 46- year-old discovers on the latter number that despite his age he's still doing the best he can. And from the breadth of work on this spanking eleven-song collection it's hard to argue.

Watch Flogging Molly - "Float"
Record Release Show NYC

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