Review Summary: An excellent fourth edition to Flogging Molly’s discography that’s held back only by a feeling of déjà vu.
After shifting towards a more experimental folk rock sound with their third album Within A Mile From Home
, the Irish-Punk outfit Flogging Molly were facing a dilemma. Although they gained some new fans with their most folk inspired album to date, they were also losing fans who missed the high energy songs found on the band’s debut or their sophomore effort. Like many bands at this point in their career, Flogging Molly did what made sense and returned to their roots. The result is an excellent album that’s sure to please fans of the band’s early work, but due to the feeling of deja vu it lacks the classic feel of the band’s first two releases.
Kicking off the band’s fourth album Float
is the well placed ‘Requiem For A Dying Song’. The track is vintage Flogging Molly and it’s a nice return to form after their last release. Like many of the band’s best songs it’s overflowing with energy as all the instruments are in full force and blend together seamlessly. Due to the impressive musicianship, even the bass can be heard and it enhances the songs along with the band’s unique instruments such as the tin whistle and the accordion. Following the second track, the listener is given another dose of adrenaline with ‘Paddy’s Lament’. Dave King sounds as good as ever as he dishes out some of his most impressive vocals on the entire album. He doesn’t sound quite as gruff as the band’s debut, but his voice is full of an aggressive attitude that seemed to be missing from the band’s previous release. Much like the first song, it’s packed with energy, but King’s outstanding vocals make it one of the best offerings on the album.
For those who enjoyed the change of pace on Flogging Molly’s last album, there is still plenty to be enjoyed here. Following the one-two punch of the first two songs is the more relaxed ‘Float.’ The dark and almost haunting song starts with nothing but acoustic guitars as King sings “Drank away the rest of the day, wonder what my liver’d say? Drink, that’s all you can.” As the song progresses other instruments like the violin and the accordion come into play adding even more emotion to the experience. It’s not the only somber track however, as the band closes the album with the poignant ‘The Story So Far.’ Unlike ‘Float’, the song is very cheerful and it’s just hard not to smile when listening to it. Their ballads have always been somewhat depressing, but the band throws a curveball with ‘The Story So Far.’ It’s an unexpected way to close the album, but it’s hard not to enjoy it’s cheerful, yet somber nature.
Flogging Molly’s Float
isn’t a complete return to form for the band, but it’s an excellent album in its own right that’s sure to please fans of their earlier work. It’s no simple task for seven musicians to work together so well, but the band knocks the ball out of the park again on their enjoyable fourth effort. It’s held back slightly by a feeling of deja vu, but there’s still enough creativity to keep the album going strong. It may not be the band‘s best work, but it’s every bit as impressive as the their third album and the Irish-Punk attitude has returned, making “Float” another worthwhile listen for any fan of the band or those who enjoy Celtic influences.