Flogging Molly - Speed of Darkness (Cover Artwork)

Flogging Molly

Flogging Molly: Speed of DarknessSpeed of Darkness (2011)
Borstal Beat

Reviewer Rating: 2.5
User Rating:

Contributed by: JeloneJelone
(others by this writer | submit your own)

While I have been a Flogging Molly fan for about a decade now, I have gone through the same hem/haw scenario over every album post-Drunken Lullabies (2002). More specifically, I'm waiting for this band with a very niche sound to start sucking. While I would never dismiss Flogging Molly's Irish folk .
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While I have been a Flogging Molly fan for about a decade now, I have gone through the same hem/haw scenario over every album post-Drunken Lullabies (2002). More specifically, I'm waiting for this band with a very niche sound to start sucking. While I would never dismiss Flogging Molly's Irish folk punk as a novelty, I certainly understand why others would. FM has dropped four great records so far, but there's only so far they can take their amped-up Pogues worship before they hit a wall.

Speed of Darkness is that wall. It's doubly unfortunate, given that it's the band's first self-released record since Alive Behind the Green Door back in 1997. But the album just can't find a clear direction, despite many tunes exploring paths beyond the traditional FM style. While some tunes repeat the super-fast, super-Irish route like the opening title track and "Saints & Sinners", a decent chunk of the record actually goes towards new territory.

The album's first half is stronger. "Revolution" is a jubilant working class anthem with an insistent bassline. "The Heart of the Sea" has a really catchy cut time break in between verses. It's actually a bit of a surprise coming from Flogging Molly, since slowing down isn't really their deal, but the groove is infectious. Also enjoyable: the folksy duet near the end of the album between frontman Dave King and wife/violinist/tin whistler Bridgette Regan on "A Prayer for Me in Silence". It's just cute.

But Speed of Darkness doesn't have enough of those successes. The album's second half is too heavy on slower tunes. "The Cradle of Humankind", for example, is a lengthy, dull piano ballad. A surprise coming from Flogging Molly certainly, but good luck with that one live. At the same time, the new songs that mimic old material pass by without much notice. Granted, punk rock has a limited number of moves, and a subgenre with the genre like Celtic punk has even fewer, but it's still weird to finally, finally be disappointed by Flogging Molly. While I'm sure plenty of fans will still be on board with the band's latest, I think I need to sit this one out.


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Fine Print: The following comments are owned by whoever posted them. We are not respon sible for them in any way. Seriously.
Midwest (December 8, 2011)

I'm not going to totally rip this band apart of trying something new. I'm not. Growth as a band and as music artists is not necessarily a bad thing and not something that I'm necessarily opposed to, but this album was horrible. Not in that objectively bad sense. Just really unappealing to me personally.

Kolen009 (June 18, 2011)

just for reference, cut time generally means the music gets faster... i think you mean half time.

StrangeSlowOld (June 4, 2011)

Great album. Haven't stopped listening since I bought it.

devianter (June 3, 2011)

like dropkick murphys.. just another flogging molly album. no irish happiness this year

PMAtill_ImDOA (June 3, 2011)

I disagree , I think this album both continues the direction of 'Float' and some new more bluesy influences shine through, ie 'The Power's Out'.
Just saw them (again), and the new songs they played didn't feel out of place, more like fun and fresh additions to their ever solid set lists.
I dig it.

BluthCo (June 3, 2011)

Musically, these songs don't add much to the Flogging Molly repertoire, but are still fairly enjoyable. Lyrically, they're tired. The band has finally crossed the line between having recurring themes through their albums and running out of things to say.

MN_DrNIck (June 3, 2011)

I meant to type that it would have been a better follow up to Within A Mile Of Home instead of Float. My bad. Thanks for the correction Nick Vicious. Float was good, but it felt like they were going too much of the Irish punk rock song thing non stop while with this album you only get half of that.

nickvicious (June 3, 2011)

@MN_DrNick, it's not a follow-up to Within a Mile, it's a follow up to Float. I thought Float was kind of a turd, so that was their "wall" for me.

MuhammadMormon (June 3, 2011)

Carefully listened to it once, thought it was "good", but I don't see myself putting it on again any time in the near future.

floorcadet (June 3, 2011)

I hope they release an album full of b sides and demos called "Speed Of Light"

MN_DrNick (June 3, 2011)

Wow.... uh..... this review is pretty bad. I'm not the biggest Flogging Molly fan like I was say five years ago, but this is a really good album. This is a great follow up to "Within A Mile Of Home". And that second half of the album you're complaining about actually makes the album better than what you're saying. I love it that they're straying away from the fast Irish punk rock stuff that they started out with years ago. That's what makes this a really good album. Because they're not going back to familiar territory! Yeah those Irish gimicky bros aren't going to love this album, but fuck 'em! This album is really good!

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