To Flog: Pronunciation: 'flšg Function: verb- To beat or strike with a rod or whip; to whip; to lash; to chastise with repeated blows.
A good flogging is probably the best way to describe Flogging Mollyís sophomore release, Drunken Lullabies. It hits you harder and harder with every track, breaks you down to tears, and then forces you to get up and go at it all over again just as any good Irish punk would. In other words, the whole album is worth listening to -- there arenít just one or two tolerable tracks here; all of them are extremely well done.
The lyrics on every track can move you in some way.
Whether the songs draw a tear to your eye (as on ďIf I Ever Leave This World AliveĒ), whet your appetite for a Guinness from the bar, or both ("Rebels of the Sacred HeartĒ), youíre going to feel something. Writing about what you know is always the best and easiest way to do so, and lead singer Dave King shows he knows that, since it's obvious every word heís written is straight from his heart. Each song tells a story about his life and his experiences in a very touching manner. Donít get me wrong; this isnít some sappy, emo, whiney-girlfriend-broke-up-with-me-so-Iím-sad-album: this is a very rocking, Irish-influenced, Iím-pissed-because-all-this-shit-happened-so-donít-screw-with-me-becauseóIím-drunk, punk album.
The albumís title track sets the pace for the rest of the album by demonstrating the bandís signature sound, complete with banjo and fiddle. Thereís also a slightly political slant in the lyrics that come and go throughout the album, however you would be hard pressed to find a band that resembles Flogging Mollyís Irish sound and have it be without any politics (i.e. the Tossers, Dropkick Murphys.) ďDrunken LullabiesĒ also shows simply the bandís ability to completely rock. Who would have thought that mandolins, banjos, a tin whistle, and an accordion could rock so much?
Flogging Mollyís unique Celtic-inspired punk has grown on this, the band's second full-length release, but not grown in that bad way. The group has made a departure from its 2000 release Swagger, but Flogging Molly has matured in that good way; the songs are different but not too different, or commercial. One final thing of note: Flogging Molly is a live band; you need to see the band play in concert for the full Guinness-swigging, tin whistle-playing, jig-dancing effect. Drunken Lullabies is such a good album that it only pales in comparison to the live shows that this band plays. I highly recommend checking out this album as well as the band sometime during its nonstop touring.
Jason Ciprano is a staff writer. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org.