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Release Date: Mar 4, 2008
Label: Side One Dummy
Genres: Punk Revival, Punk-Pop
Number Of Tracks: 11
The beginning of this album makes up for the rest of this selection of songs, but it's too bad that only a few individual songs are really worth the purchase.
Raphael Faunus, on march 05, 2008 1 of 8 people found this review helpful
Sound: Blasting into an Irish-themed, whiskey-scented intro, we begin this blasting album with high expectations. There's a government whip cracked across your back! Flogging Molly meets your formerly mentioned expectations with this brand spanking new rock and roll album that will leave you feeling like fighting the government and starting fist battles of epic proportions in the nearest pub. History running amok in this album like the tunes of iLiKETRAiNS, this upbeat introduction entitled Requiem For A Dying Song shows you how this album's going to beat you up. Right through the excitement of this tune, in comes a more aggressive song, Paddy's Lament. Dave King manages to be cruel in this tune, and already you can see this album being precisely what a Flogging Molly fan needs. It's sharp and lyrically subversive, rebellious and electric. Paddy's Lament is fast-moving and ends at a perfect time - Right before you expect it to wear on thin, you enjoy the close. In comes a voice speaking one, two... The title track of this easily fantastic album opens with an acoustic guitar on your left, the production of this song building in quite a bit of suspense as different Irish instruments kick into the mix. As talented as this is in terms of composition, it weakens in strength unexpectedly as you wait for something more titillating to fill you. This happens, though it doesn't come off as strong as you'd expect. A decent track, though unfortunately undeserving of any strong compliment. As the guitar near the end of that last track fades out, in comes blasting a loud riff that shatters through your spine like a jackhammer, a voice shouting out his arguments towards the world, like a hero in the storm of a ship stricken by the rot of the salty winds of sea. A very visual song, and if you have any to be mustered, this one will stir the Irish blood in you. This song, named You Won't Make A Fool Out Of Me, makes use of prominent arpeggiation in reference to the more classical instruments, while the electric guitar feels more like an instrument of rhythm. At that, it ends a little abruptly for my taste, and, though still keeping in tune with the album, it's not perfect. Lightning Storm. This next track visualizes within you what the title says. Rattling through the song are fiddles to adore and acoustics which will make your soul bleed to feel the character speaking to you. Perhaps the best song on the album, next to Requiem For A Dying Song. If there's any song on this album that I'd much prefer wouldn't be on it, it's this next poorly placed one. The recording's a little shabby, as the bass of the vocals that begin Punch Drunk Grinning Soul are put on a high priority. I couldn't say that this song is as well-composed as it should be, and I would've figured Flogging Molly could've done a little better. Us Of Lesser Gods, this is the name of this next song, which bores me wholly and all over until very late in the song. It's unfortunate that the album is getting increasingly worse as it progresses, but that might very well be my opinion. Definitely an archaic song, but too much so to be really appreciated. In here comes Between A Man And A Woman, which still accentuates my point that this album is getting progressively worse. I'm sorry, but I hate this song. The beginning of this album makes up for the rest of this selection of songs, but it's too bad that only a few individual songs are really worth the purchase. // 6
Lyrics: I'll say the lyrics and vocals are nothing different from the rest of Flogging Molly's discography, and will not surprise you at all. Keep these facts in mind when you purchase. Indeed, while talented they are at writing the same song over and over again, like DragonForce, it's not really worth discussing. A seven for "apathy ratings." // 7
Overall Impression: I suppose I'll be forced to say that the entirety of this can be described as Recycled, though perhaps that might be a bit mean. It's not perfect, nowhere near, but, if you have the money, it's not going to hurt to give it a try. Though, if you're new to this group's albums, it might be better just to stick to their earlier stuff. // 7
Requiesce, on march 19, 2009 1 of 1 people found this review helpful
Sound: I preface this review by saying that Flogging Molly are one of my, if not the, favourite bands. I got into them via a friend who lent me Drunken Lullabies and Within A Mile of Home. I have since heard and bought all studio albums, as well as Whiskey On A Sunday and Alive Behind The Green Door. I know my stuff. So onto the album. Requiem For A Dying Song is exactly what I love Flogging Molly for - powerful, political calls to arms set against a melody you can dance like an idiot to. Requiem does not disappoint. On then to Paddy's Lament which immediately follows. This did surprise me just a little. It's a lot darker than their previous albums, and much more melancholic, but still keeping those driving drums and emotional vocals.
The title track, Float, is beautiful. It builds up from the get go into a cracking crescendo, and keeps you hypnotised almost until the drums really kick in and powerhouses the stuffing out of you, with King shouting "A ripe old age, that's what I am!" The next song, You Won't Make A Fool Out Of Me actually didn't leave much of an impression on me at all. It sounds like it could have been on any one of their previous albums, and to be honest, given the dark, serious tone of Float and Paddy's Lament, it felt kinda out of place. The next three tracks, leading with The Lightning Storm, are mere perfection. Storm leads into a dark, minor key and blistering accordion and violin riff, with a political song about the Bush administration, according to King. It's powerful tone leaves you breathless and thoughtful, and the band leave no consideration at all to your respiratory systems with Punch Drunk Grinning Soul.
Starting off with King's vocals, accompanied by his own acoustic guitar, Soul is a fast paced anthem, building up the noise until it's very last few bars, where the band launch into a metal-esque slamming of their instruments. It finishes with a sketchy recording to emphasise it's point. Us Of Lesser Gods is a beautiful acoustic song, with a traditional feel and very fast vocals. Almost entirely acoustic, King is singing about the better times and lamenting the times in which he resides, and it's lovely.
I'm kinda confused as to why Between a Man and a Woman is on here; a track heard by fans on the raw live release Alive Behind The Green Door, it's very classic Molly on a very new release. I'm not a huge fan, but it'd get me dancing in a pub, so I guess bygones can be bygones. Similarly, equally as forgettable in my opinion is On The Back Of A Broken Dream. It fit's in well with the rest of the album, and the chorus is fantastic, but it just slightly misses the mark when you've got songs such as Requiem and Soul. Man With No Country, however, is brilliant. Opening with an uncharacteristic deep bassline and following with a loud, angry riff, this is Flogging Molly at it's finest, tearing down the establishment and ringing in the sound of Dave King's own personal regret. Brilliant.
And to finish with the laid back and hopeful The Story So Far is lovely; you've rocked out, you're exhausted, and so it's now time to look to the future and hope for the best. // 9
Lyrics: The lyrics are, as is usual with Flogging Molly, a mixture of political unease, protest, and a lamentation of the past. Dave King's accented, desperately powerful voice cuts through the noise of the band and really gets his message across. He improves with every album, and he really is a forced to be reckoned with. // 10
Overall Impression: The best album they've done so far, in my opinion; here's hoping there's much more to come. Us Of Lesser Gods is a beautiful song, standing out from the rest in it's simplicity and mellow lull, whilst The Lightning Storm and Punch Drunk Grinning Soul kick your teeth in with their raw, caustic power. Just brilliant.
I have to reckon that You Won't Make A Fool Out Of Me and Between A Man And A Woman were put on the album because there was no other place for them; certainly not my favourites by a long shot, and it speaks volumes that they neglected to play these two live on their 2008 European Tour.
Despite these, however, the album is stunning, and I would rate it higher if I could. // 10