Review: ‘Float’ – Flogging Molly

Check out this story from the March 15, 2007 edition of The Viking News, SUNY Westchester Community College’s Campus Newspaper. It has been revised from its original format, because, well, my writing has improved quite a bit since then.

Flogging Molly is a Los Angeles based band that blends traditional Irish folk music with modern day punk-rock.

“We’re not a traditional band,” Flogging Molly’s Frontman David King said. “We are influenced by traditional music and inspired by it, and we put our own little twist on it.”

This couldn’t be more evident than on the Celtic-punk band’s fourth studio album, Float, perhaps one of the band’s softest, yet catchiest albums to date.

Float—available on March 4, 2008, from independent music label Side One Dummy—takes its name from a song-title, which was originally released as an iTunes exclusive in 2007.

Unlike some of their previous albums, which had a much more angst-driven punk/hard rock feel, Flogging Molly seem to lean more towards the folk-side of things on this one.

One reason for this might have to do with the fact that Float was recorded at Grouse Lodge Studios in County Westmeath, Ireland, whereas in the past they had only recorded in Hollywood and Chicago. Or, perhaps it is because the band has become more popular amongst our MTV generation that they felt a need to top themselves? Whatever the cause, they pull it off.

The album opens with “Requiem for a Dying Song”, an infectious tune with the kind of witty political tagline that would make Pete Seeger proud.

“There’s a government whip cracked across your back, when the order of the day is don’t listen—attack.”

“You Won’t Make a Fool Out of Me,” could easily be the band’s second single, simply because the song is very insistent and in your face. It’s simple, incredibly repetitive, and is almost guaranteed to have singing along upon the first time you hear it.

“Lightning Storm” is the most unique song on the whole album. It has a soothing, almost medicinal sound to it that comes from deep and personal emotions. The theme can best be defined by the lyrics, “As the days they come, as the years do go. So take care of your freedom, they’ll never know.”

The track, “Us of Lesser Gods” plays to Flogging Molly’s forté, sticking to at least one sappy song dedicated to their religious heritage. Nevertheless it’s still incredibly catchy compared to some of theit other faith-based songs such as, “Grace of God Go I” (Swagger) and “Seven Deadly Sins” (Within a Mile of Home).

“On The Back of a Broken Dream” may be the one track to skip on this nearly impeccable album, simply because it is bland and easily forgettable for fans. It isn’t a “bad song,” it’s just because certain parts make it discernible from others in their repertoire.

Overall, I give Flogging Molly’s latest album four stars out of five.

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️🔸

Float is very distinct from the band’s previous albums, which makes it easy to see why the album hit no. 4 on the Billboard Top 200 Charts. Hopefully, there will still be more to come from this magnificent Celtic punk band in the future.

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