||Speed of Darkness
||27 May 2011
||Ryan Hewitt, Flogging Molly
||Borstal Beat Records
Fronted by Dubliner Dave King, seven-piece Celtic-punk outfit Flogging Molly return with their fifth studio album Speed of Darkness.
Yup...I bet you have the intro to 'I’m Shipping Up To Boston' by the Dropkick Murphy’s in your head too yeah? Go on, admit it.
Well Dave, now in his forty-ninth year, and his merry troupe were doing the Irish-infused schtick long before Trapattoni was nationalised and Obama became a fluent Irish speaker. Indeed their sales in America alone top two million already.
Speed of Darkness is thankfully not full of dewy-eyed recollections of bonny sweet Erin. Nor is it Frosted Lucky Charms with marshmallow distortion pedals inside. It is in fact a very contemporary view on the personal and the local impact of the current global gloom.
Suffice to say, if you are CEO of the Inflatable Hammer and Tricolour Corporation this album was not intended for you. Broad swipes are taken at capitalist greed, CEOs and anyone seen to be making hay while the working-man’s eyes are fixed on the gutter.
The title track opens the record with a nice blend of Irish-jiggery (no pokery though) and a catchy melody. Set to the backdrop of distorted rhythm and double-quick drum this is one of the high points on the album.
The others come in the soapbox anthem of 'The Power’s Out' and the sweet dual vocal on 'A Prayer For Me In Silence'. The former provides the album with the only source of real biting satire and is certainly its best and most memorable track.
"From the town of Detroit where my job is secure yeah, secure in the fact now that it’s gone for good yeah. So I’ll scrimp and I’ll scrape with this pension I’ve saved...so it should be gone by the end of the day."
Unfortunately, while at times providing pleasant and well-intentioned social commentary, it fails to rise above average fare. Perhaps it is hard to stay genuinely angry when you’ve been at it since 1993? Regardless it is difficult to get your teeth into this record. Apart from the above mentioned track the rest of the album is all dentures and no incisors.
Therefore what you get is a competent but unspectacular album. The only thing I got angry about whilst listening to it, was the fact that it didn’t make me suitably angry about the shitty state of the world we’re living! For all the good that’d do me right?
Flogging Molly play the Olympia Theatre on August 24th.