Flogging Molly Speed of Darkness (Borstal Beat Records)
I first heard about Flogging Molly when they released Swagger. After that, we kind of fell out of touch and they released two more albums. Then they released an album called Drunken Lullabies which got my attention because a band had come out on the radio who I always thought was just a watered down version of Flogging Molly. With this being their fifth studio album, the question is whether what once made this band so special and unique can withstand the test of time. The answer is, sadly, no.
After struggling for a way to describe Swagger and the music I was being fed, I coined the term medievalcore, which never caught on. Those instruments and sounds that made Flogging Molly stand out when I first heard them seem all but gone on Speed of Darkness. Flogging Molly now sounds like nearly every other punk oi band from Boston, MA (and its surrounding areas) who wants to be like Dropkick Murphys.
It could be a lot worse, sure, but that magic I feel this band had on Swagger has just disappeared. I know it couldn’t last forever without sounding too redundant, but I was hoping that they’d somehow find a way. I was really hoping for lyrics better than “Don’t fornicate with the one you hate”. The thrill seems to be gone for both the band and myself. I guess I’d be somewhat jaded if a band came along and now people say “Hey, you sound like them” when you had that sound first. But why not use that bitterness as fuel for an album that sounds better than this? This just isn’t worthy of the name Flogging Molly.
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