March 20, 2008

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Flogging Molly, Float
Side One Dummy Records, March 4
One notices something a little not-quite-as-cool-as-Dropkick-Murphys about Celtic rock goons Flogging Molly, maybe something a little ’80s metal. Drilling down, past the ridiculously tight musicianship and primed-for-’80s-metal engineering, we discover ex-Fastway singer Dave King running the show, which explains everything, including the Dio-like scream-fest fadeout of the title track. If you can deal with that (and you sort of have to, given the genre enthusiasm here, as King bailed out of an Epic Records contract when they looked at him funny for bringing tin whistles and junk like that into the studio), this album is only slightly less authentic than Gaelic Storm, if markedly less Celtcore and boisterous than the Dropkicks, who practically own the bagpipes-and-drunken-hollering market. The whole idea’s been watered down to almost nothing now because being watered-down-white-ethnic is the new black. As penance, the album opens with a tin-whistle-and-blah-de-blah take on “We’re Not Gonna Take It” (“Requiem For a Dying Song”) that shortly becomes a polite tour-de-punk of Dropkicks territory. “You Won’t Make a Fool Out of Me” is another stab at same, sounding more like some new thrown-together Deep Purple lineup than anything with busted teeth. Two traditional Celt-folk strummers are also included (“Us of Lesser Gods” and “The Story So Far”) B-Eric W. Saeger