Flogging Molly: Speed of Darkness

Flogging Molly: Speed of Darkness
Flogging Molly was started by Ireland-born Dave King when he moved to Los Angeles in the 90s. Since that time, Flogging Molly grew from a pub band to one of the biggest purveyors of Celtic punk music in America. Their first three albums were released on SideOneDummy Records; Speed of Darkness is the band’s first album on their own record label, Borstal Beat Records.
Besides the label change, not much else is different for Flogging Molly. Speed of Darkness finds the band once again working with longtime producer Ryan Hewitt. The album contains the band’s standard balance between rowdy Celtic punk and drunken ballads but on Speed of Darkness, the uptempo songs seem more engaging than on previous albums.
It is hard not to notice that “Don’t Shut’Em Down” is the band’s poppiest song yet. Generally Flogging Molly’s music has something inherently Celtic about their melodies as well as their instrumentation but “Don’t Shut’Em Down” contains the melody of a Blink-182 pop punk song. The track still contains the instrumentation of fiddle in the background but the poppy direction is something new for the band and it is not necessarily a bad thing.
My problem with Flogging Molly has always been their ballads and on Speed of Darkness, it is no different. “A Prayer for Me In Silence” features Bridget Regan on lead vocals; the track sounds like something off the new Acid House Kings‘ album than off a “punk” album.
Luckily the ballads are held in check on the album, making up roughing 1/4th of the album’s content. The actual punk songs on the album are really among the best that Flogging Molly have written. The amount of poppiness on the album may turn off some longtime fans but the move will surely gain the band new fans.
Rating: 7.8/10
MP3: Flogging Molly “Don’t Shut’Em Down”
Buy: iTunes or Amazon