Over the course of the past two years I have had occasion to write about California Celtic punk heavyweights Flogging Molly twice. The first time I reviewed a Flogging Molly show I attended in Atlantic City, New Jersey, at the House of Blues. Their new album, Speed of Darkness, was the subject matter of the second piece, as well as its bold nature and importance to today’s mad social, economic and political climate. Being that they are a band I have appreciated for some years, I enjoyed writing both articles. And now, with their upcoming show in Philadelphia, I have occasion to write about them yet again.
If you haven’t had the pleasure of experiencing a Flogging Molly show, it is something I cannot recommend enough. They put on a helluva performace every time, with their collective musical talent, their confident and entertaining stage presence, and of course their hybrid sound structure of traditional Celtic and punk rock. But Flogging Molly frontman Dave King, who sings and plays acoustic guitar, is definitely a highlight of the band’s shows, with his intelligent and entertaining lyrics and his great vocal delivery. And if you are from Philadelphia or its surrounding areas, you have the opportunity to catch them perform at River Stage at Great Plaza in Penns Landing on Saturday, July 30th.
And if you haven’t had listened to Flogging Molly’s latest album, Speed of Darkness, you will be surprised not only by the extreme shift in sound but by the hard-hitting significance of the lyrical content in relation to today’s social, economic and political isses as they rapidly approach crisis proportions. America seems to be coming apart at the seams, and it will not take a few leaders, human service networks or concerned individuals to change it for the better, but an entire nation. In fact, the members of Flogging Molly summed it all up quite well on their website, saying…
“Three years ago, hard working men and women the world over were collectively under the assumption that their nest eggs were secure, their homes were the safest of all investments, and that the economy was on the upswing. Then, with virtually no warning, their lives were turned upside down, as an entire generation saw their dreams dashed and plans dismantled. It all happened with the Speed of Darkness.”
Unlike Flogging Molly’s previous releases, which were handled by SideOneDummy Records, they band now owns and operates its own independent label, Borstal Beat, on which they released Speed of Darkness. Needless to say, I’m sure, there have been a lot of changes for Flogging Molly in the past few years. I haven’t had the pleasure of attending one of the shows at which they have been playing the new songs. Not yet, anyway. But making it out to one of their upcoming shows would undoubtedly be an ideal way of truly experiencing the band as their recent changes have made them.
While at Flogging Molly’s show in Atlantic City, New Jersey, at the House of Blues, I picked up a copy of the release which preceeded Speed of Darkness, Live at the Greek Theatre, which came out in 2010 and included two discs of live music and a DVD of the show. Now, apart from actually being there, the Live at the Greek Theatre release would have been an excellent way to have learned about the band’s live sound and performances. It is also a great way to keep the experience of having attended one of their shows fresh in one’s mind. So I highly recommend getting your hands on a copy.
And if by some slim chance you’ve been living under a rock and don’t know about Flogging Molly, and you haven’t listened their songs, they are for fans of Meisce, Swaggerin’ Growlers, The Dubliners, Dropkick Murphys, The Tossers, The Pogues, Mutiny, Catgut Mary, The Kilmaine Saints, Dirty Filthy Mugs, Mischief Brew, Black 47, Curbside Saints, The Mahones, and the like.