Review Summary: The folk infused third entry.
After the major success of their first two albums Flogging Molly were making quite the name for themselves. Their special brand of upbeat Irish punk was working great for them, but it was time to change things up a bit. Don‘t worry, they’re still the Flogging Molly many of us know and love, but their third studio album Within a Mile of Home
has more experimentation then their first two efforts. In a way, it’s Flogging Molly’s folk record. Although they’ve always incorporated some folk influence into their music, it’s never stood out like it does now. They do a fantastic job however, proving they can still make a great album while tweaking their sound.
There‘s a good deal of variety on their third venture. It’s completely packed with folk influences and some soothing ballads. There are still several songs that will please fans of their early work such as the fast paced ‘Screaming at the Wailing Wall‘, but for the most part the album feels much more mellow. One advantage to the slightly slowed pace is that individual instruments get the chance to stand out better. On ‘The Spoken Wheel’ we are given a nice dose of acoustic guitars, but many songs feature great folk inspired guitar work as well.
As I hinted before this album has a bit of everything so don’t expect a straight up folk record. Songs like the upbeat opener and the fan favorite ‘Tobacco Island’ are reminiscent of the fast paced songs on their debut, but one of the albums most enjoyable tracks is ‘Tomorrow Comes A Day To Soon’. It’s a traditional folk sounding dance song, with an Irish twist of course. It’s one of those Flogging Molly songs where you’ll find it hard not to just tap your feet. Perhaps the most impacting song however is the fantastic final track ‘Don’t Let Me Die Still Wondering’. The band has always been good at pairing meaningful lyrics with their somber ballads, and this song is no different. Essentially, it’s a song about life lessons and mistakes and it brings the album to a satisfying close.
Although it’s definitely not a complete departure from the band’s previous work, there’s no denying this is one of their most varied albums. It has songs that will please longtime fans, but also has the potential to draw in new listeners with it’s larger emphasis on folk. Releasing not two, but three excellent albums back to back is no simple task. Within A Mile Of Home
may not pack as big a punch as their last two outings, but it’s still an enjoyable listen full of variety and as expected, solid musicianship.