Review Summary: The story of Flogging Molly.
The story of Flogging Molly is an interesting one indeed. Before reaching the level of success they are at today, they once were just a struggling, hard working band who played shows at bars in hopes of recognition. One of these pubs was called Molly Malone’s. Located in LA, the bar was the starting point for the band and as you may have guessed, it’s where they got their name.
We used to play there every Monday night and we felt like we were flogging it to death, so we called the band Flogging Molly.
After playing at Malone’s on a regular basis and gaining quite the following, the band finally put out a live album entitled Alive Behind The Green Door
in 1997. Although they wouldn’t release their debut album Swagger
until 2000, their live album was extremely influential. The reason being that several of the songs on the debut were actually from “Alive Behind The Green Door.” In fact, the live album even contained songs that made it on the band's second LP Drunken Lullabies
. It was only the beginning of Flogging Molly's impressive career.
Bringing his heavy Irish accent with him, vocalist Dave King is the driving force behind the seven-piece band. His voice has a very raw and unique sound to it and although it may be an acquired taste, it compliments the band’s sound perfectly and it's sure to please fans of The Dropkick Murphy's. What’s most enjoyable on Swagger
however isn’t just King’s gruff voice, but the wide array of instruments. King’s now wife and longtime band mate Bridget Regan plays instruments like the tin whistle and the fiddle which helps add depth to the songs. The sounds of accordions, mandolins and many other musical tools are glittered throughout the songs as well which really add to the listening experience.
Packed into the album are twelve songs full of Celtic influences and a genuinely raw punk vibe. ‘The Devils Dance Floor’ is a fan favorite and it’s not hard to see why. Fueled by the tin whistle and god knows what else (remember there are a ton of instruments) the song’s in your face attitude and catchy chorus make you want to get off you ass and do an Irish style dance. Other songs, like the stellar opener ‘Salty Dog’ share this same feeling. To balance out this aggression we are also given some softer tracks such as ‘The Worst Day Since Yesterday’. It is a ballad full of the accordion and a much softer vocal approach by King. Whether the band is knocking it out of the park with their upbeat numbers or slowing things down, all the songs are very well executed and showcase strong musicianship.
Flogging Molly have come an awful long way since laying down their blood, sweat and tears at Molly Malone’s all those years ago. They’ve done countless Warped Tour shows, toured extensively, and gained a large fan base due to their energetic live shows and handful of successful albums. Swagger
is the product of all the band’s hard work. Few musicians are able to mix such influences as celtic, punk, or folk so flawlessly. The variety of instruments accompanied by King’s demanding voice make the album an energetic and dynamic experience.