Overall Score: 8/10 Instrumentation: 8/10 Vocals: 9/10 Mosh Pit Inducing: 8/10 Pros: A rich album that perfectly shifts between punk rock goodness and Irish folk revelry. Cons: Second half of the album falters in comparison to the first half.
Five years after the release of their album Life is Good, Flogging Molly are back with a brand new, aptly named album Anthem that will raise your spirits and make you dance like no one’s watching.
The Los Angeles-based band consisting of Dave King, Bridget Regan, Dennis Casey, Matt Hensley, Nathen Maxwell, Spencer Swain, and Mike Alonso have reunited with legendary music engineer Steve Albini to create a joyous album containing the unique concoction of Irish folk and punk rock music that have raised the band to such popularity.
The album begins with the perfectly named These Times Have Got Me Drinking/Tripping Up The Stairs. A raucous drinking song, it evolves from a simple guitar and vocal start into a full blown, toe-tapping punk anthem destined to rightfully ascend to the same level of adoration as such hits as Drunken Lullabies.
It then falls away into catchy tunes from A Song Of Liberty, a rock song with references to Irish Independence figures that promotes working “together as a unity”, to slower, more Irish folk influenced songs like Life Begins and Ends and No Last Goodbyes.
Arguably one of the best songs on the album, The Croppy Boy ‘98, falls under the latter category. The fifth track is a truly Irish anthem, with samplings from the well known Irish folk song Star of the County Down. It builds in volume and instrumentation with each passing chorus, but our favourite moment is the ending, where vocals harmonise with instrumentation creating a jaw dropping climax to the first half of the album.
The first half of the album contains by far the best songs, and one can argue some of the songs on the second half fall flat in comparison, but Anthem is a rich album and it is clear that Dave King hasn’t lost his spark.
With a perfect blend of mosh pit-inducing punk rock richness and spine-chilling folk songs we cannot wait to hear this album live.
Anthem is out now via Rise Records.
For more information on Flogging Molly, like their official page on Facebook.