Review Summary: While these guys have been known for their great Irish-punk rock music, the more and more albums they produce, the more and more formulaic they become.
I've been a big fan of these guys ever since they came out with their album "Within A Mile Of Home." I love the fact that these guys are mixing punk rock with celtic and folk music, making their songs perfect for a drunken bar fight scene. Their most recent album, "Speed of Darkness" still gives their music that feeling, but there is one issue, this album sounds a lot their their previous work, and that can pose a real problem.
Although the band has included slower and melodic songs such as "This Present State Of Grace" and "A Prayer For Me In Silence," they seem to be following the same idea and themes of their Irish-punk music. The album starts off with Speed Of Darkness, which immediately hits the nail on the head to my point. It starts off with a strange effect in the first 30-or-so seconds and then goes to the catchy music of violins, banjos, and acoustic guitars. Compare this song to their previous work, in fact not just this song, but several songs which I will mention later. If you think about it, not all that different from songs such as "Drunken Lullabies" from the album of the same title, and Salty Dog of "Swagger." The next song "Revolution" is really catchy and probably one of the more enjoyable songs on the album, but yet again, it's has a déja vu feeling. Similar songs that have this issue are "Don't Shut 'Em Down" "Saints And Sinners" and "Oliver Boy (All Our Boys)." It just annoys me to see such great bands doing things that they've done before recently. Their album "Float" had the same problem as well, but it wasn't necessarily as bad as it is in this album.
Even so, their are a few good perks to this album. Probably the one song that stands out more above the rest is "The Power's Out." The song is heavier, very catchy, and is different from their other work, making the song one of the best songs off of the album. And like I said before, their are more melodic and slower songs in the album. "This Present State of Grace" and "A Prayer For Me In Silence" are more acoustic, and "A Prayer For Me In Silence" actually has Bridget Regan singing some of the lyrics, and she really does have a beautiful voice. I would really like to hear her more in Flogging Molly's future albums. Another song that really stands out is the last song "Rise Up" and it is a more slower song. At first I thought it was an instrumental and I will admit, it probably would've been better if it was in my personal opinion, but it really was a sweet melody that's perfect for listening to during a sunset on the beach.
The lack of original creativity is the worst problem in this album, and it's not the only time this kind of thing happens. Such examples are Metallica, Skrillex, and a few other artists. But even so, Flogging Molly still makes an overall enjoyable album, filled with great songs with catchy beats and slower music. So don't get me wrong if you think I say that the lack of creativity makes this a bad album, which it isn't. The good things in this album are really good, it just the issues are pretty major for a band. These guys are fantastic with their music and their own original style of music is what makes this band amazing. But if they keep following the same formula and keep producing the same kind of music they've been doing for almost 15 years by now, then I say that this album is the start of their downfall. And again, I'm not saying this is a bad album, it's just that there's nothing too fantastic about it that makes it stand out.
As for recommendations, if you're an old fan of Flogging Molly, then you'll probably like this album, but if your a fan and you're expecting something different, then I'd say only a few songs are for you, otherwise skip it.
The Power's Out
This Present State Of Grace
A Prayer For Me In Silence