It’s been three long years for Flogging Molly, their reputation and need to perform live in a dizzying marathon of never ending touring left fans wondering when they would finally stop to record again. In 2010 Flogging Molly released a live three disc set Live at the Greek which kept their fans at bay, but heightened the demand for new material.
The first song off of the album, “Speed Of Darkness,” is a fast moving, foot stomping song similar to numbers off “Swagger.” It becomes clear quickly that this album is saying something, capturing the feeling, the mood and the reality of the flailing American economy and it’s impact on the working class over the last three years. Dave King said “It wasn’t the album we set out to write. It became the album we had to write.”
“Revolution” is a song about the working class and draws on the reality and the emotion of being laid off, something many can empathize with as of late. The number, with a mid-song horn solo, is almost bare bones in contrast to “Speed of Darkness” and could certainly find itself at a labor rally.
“The Heart Of The Sea” takes the listener back to the band’s more traditional roots and Dave King’s voice seems deeper, more animalistic in places. This bluesy, albeit a rougher sound is also heard on “The Power’s Out” later on the album which starts with a lo-fi, driving beat then escalates into a loud fist-shaking number then back down again.
Recorded in Detroit the city serves as the inspiration as well as the muse,gasping for breath in the severe economic climate; SoD seems to be a tribute to those crushed beneath an impossible weight. With songs like “Revolution” and “Saints and Sinners” acting as a call-to-arms, or battle-cry and then sympathetic and tender verses in “The Heart of The Sea” and “So Sail On” reach out to those who may feel alone.
Every Flogging Molly fan will find a song that truly catches them off guard, SoD flexes their mighty muscle on this album and in doing so pulls everyone on the stage with them, some of the songs have been already welcomed to live audiences, “Saints and Sinners” and “Don’t Shut’Em Down” have made the rounds and proven to be crowd favorites. In truth this is an album that many will take to heart, as everyone has felt some cold, hard impact from the loss of savings, homes or jobs. SoD isn’t entirely one sound, or feeling and takes the listener through an emotional journey, but ends with the feeling and the sentiment that we are all in this together. No matter how bad things get we can take comfort knowing we aren’t alone and even through the blackest of time nothing is permanent and time marches on.
Flogging Molly have created what may be their most relevant and passionate album to-date. Speed of Darkness drops in the US on May 31, 2011 and the 12 tracks fans have so long waited for will finally be available.
(The entire album available streaming online at RollingStone.com in a try-it-cuz-we-know-you-will-buy-it marketing concept. Several bundles including 180-gram vinyl, t-shirts, and Deluxe CDs are till available at FloggingMolly.com for purchase.)
By Meredith UnderhillSpeed Of Darkness (Sampler) by FloggingMolly