By Madien van der Merwe
Dave King in the centre with the rest of Flogging Molly. Image taken from www.floggingmolly.com If you wouldn’t exactly describe your musical interest as stretching as far out as “Celtic”, then Flogging Molly is just what you need to add some Irish flavour to your music library. If one had to categorise them it would be along the lines of Celtic punk crossed with rock blues, and their vivaciousness certainly bursts through on their 2004 release of their third studio album, Within a Mile of Home. The album consists of a combination of upbeat, slap-your-knee-and-stomp-your-feet jingles, and more sombre, grab-a-friend’s-shoulder-and rock-side-to-side ballads. Founded in Los Angeles in 1997 by Dubliner Dave King, Flogging Molly is a seven-man (with one woman) band, whose instrumental ensemble have included a bodhrán, a tin whistle and two banjos, along with a mandolin, a fiddle, uillean pipes and an accordion. And spoons. Yes, spoons. These “seven deadly sins” as they refer to themselves in their song of the same name, emphatically address social and political issues with striking and thought-provoking lyrics. They enable the listener to see into the hearts and minds of the inhabitants of a country split in two, and many of their songs, past and present, focus on ‘the struggles of the working man’. Tracks to jump to straight away include Wanderlust, Queen Anne’s Revenge and Seven Deadly Sins, all of which project a nautical theme. For slower, sleeker melodies, listen to King mourn a lost, broken soul in Whistle in the Wind. The brutal simplicity of The Spoken Wheel will tug at the heartstrings of any listener who allows themselves to be enraptured by King’s aching wails, accompanied by nothing but a guitar. The amusing and energetic music video for Seven Deadly Sins has acquired almost 2.5 million views on YouTube. The essence of Flogging Molly could perhaps be captured by a YouTube user’s comment on the 140 dislikes of the music video; “140 are going to heaven, I’m gonna enjoy a pint in hell”. The band is named after Molly Malone’s, a pub on Fairfax Boulevard in Los Angeles, where the band’s then soon-to-be soaring career jumpstarted. Their influences include Johnny Cash, The Dubliners, The Pogues and Stiff Little Fingers. Within a Mile of Home reached number 20 on the U.S. Billboard Top 200 Chart and number 1 on the Independent Music Chart. It was recorded with the band’s decade-long record label, SideOneDummy, and they have since moved on to collaborate with Borstal Beat Records.
Flogging Molly’s latest album, Speed of Darkness, which was recorded at Echo Mountain Recording Studio in North Carolina, was released in May 2011. In their biography on their website, Flogging Molly is described as being “a testament to youth and resilience, to growing old and the wisdom of scars”. This is unquestionably portrayed through their music, and any listeners, from the dedicated die-hards to the new, young fans will not be disappointed by this diverse collection of tracks that will hardly ever fail to please. Seven Deadly Sins music video. Taken from www.youtube.com