Review Summary: A force stronger than anyone could've imagined, breaking into the walls of the music industry. Funny, kind, sharing, caring, and trustworthy combination of skilled musicians that have made a beautiful entrance with "Swagger".1 of 1 thought this review was well written
Folk has an endearing way of captivating easy ears. Now however, combine aspects with folk, and add a hint of punk rock into the cauldron, you get Flogging Molly's "Swagger". This record is one great big jig from start to finish, and is an interesting combobulation of some of the greatest instruments you ever heard in the genre. What starts off as head banging to the mandolin and violin in the start with "Salty Dog" and "Selfish Man", turns to jamming to the famous tin whistle in "Devils Dance Floor", with various combinations of bass, pounding snares, and those great Irish vocals.
This album is a mass effect of inconsistency, which is just one of the many things that make it good. As far as inconsistency goes, it's generally a bad thing, but in this album, it's a saving grace. A very skilled set of instrumentalists have partaken in the debut success of this spunky band, and have offered a wide variety of creativity that keep you interested. Some areas of the album are pretty heavy, and other areas are soft, and somewhat relaxing. The way it seems to me is the band is going to do what they do, and leave the spotlight happy and content with their performance, whether or not you are.
"Swagger" is genuine construction of raw material that is set up as a milestone for Flogging Molly's future records. When a band compiles these types of albums, they will be necessary in the long run, for career purposes. This album is definitely their best work. The most notable sounds they've created are some of the catchiest beats you ever heard. "Salty Dog" and "Selfish Man" are some of the greatest use of the Mandolin and Violin, and they employ Schwindt's typical style of fast paced snare pounding method seen well throughout the album. Bassist Nathen Maxwell uses some of the grooviest bass tunes at the best times in this album, but still maintaining a basic organized structure that the band plays. While they are very orderly people that tend to keep their content in bounds, they still do love to have fun, and that is the single most notable aspect on this album. Their quirkiness is ultimately what sets the tone for this masterpiece from start to end.
Who could forget Dave King, the ultimate influence, the freight train, the head honcho for Flogging Molly? He IS "Swagger". His vocals are of some of the highest quality pertaining to the genre. His way of thinking and speaking what's on his mind is immediately employed into this album, especially in songs like "Selfish Man" and "Black Friday Rule". What is most entertaining about his vocalist styles is that he never seems to drown anyone else out in any track, not even accordion player Matt Hensley, who is rarely heard at all to begin with. Mr. King is a good, honest fellow who has absolutely no problem sharing the stage with his fellow band mates in "Swagger".
Flogging Molly's "Swagger" is a fantastic start to their career. It shows what they can truly be, instead of putting together some fake, selfish nonsense, and streaming the media with lies. The entire group has come out steadfast immediately with everything they've got, their skills, their attitude, their quirk, their genius, and their style. The influence on this album is superior to pretty much anything else they could've done.