Album Review: Flogging Molly – Anthem (Rise Records)
The raucous Los Angeles-by-way-of-Dublin punk outfit, Flogging Molly return with their first new album in five years. Called ‘Anthem’, it sees the band reunited with Swagger and Drunken Lullabies engineer Steve Albini. It will be released on the 9th of September via Rise Records.
An apt title as Flogging Molly have packed this new album with songs to sing, dance, drink, and cry along too. The Celt/Punk crossover sound the band has made their own, on full and ear-pleasing display throughout.
Now, while opener These Times Have Got Me Drinking has plenty of ‘jig’ energy to it, there’s no denying the melodies and lyrical content have a sobering effect. Flogging Molly aren’t shying away from the very real problems that exist in the world today but deal with them in their own powerful and heartfelt Celt/Punk way.
They then follow that with A Song of Liberty. A much more boisterous hit of chest-thumping and foot-tapping Flogging Molly familiarity. Before the full-on singalong that is Life Begins and Ends (But Never Fails) rings out loudly. Flogging Molly delivering passion and panache as only they can.
Although that aspect of Flogging Molly is always a major part of their appeal, the heart and soul they showcase is also a major reason so many love this band. It’s what makes No Last Goodbyes so emotive sounding. A chance to wistfully remember.
The Croppy Boy ’98 is an ode to traditional Irish music, the accordion front and centre for a track that is stompy fun. You can feel the vibrations of the pub shaking as the patrons inside stamp along to the beat. Whereas This Road of Mine is a rollicking blast of punk-infused vigour, (Try) Keep the Man Down will get even the most miserable of souls up and moving, and Now Is the Time has a relatable and honest tone that entertains as much as it edifies.
The fun isn’t over yet though as Flogging Molly hit a high point on the album with the anthemic and buoyant Lead the Way. A definite highlight of the entire record because it is so very catchy. Although that word can be used to describe pretty much everything on Anthem. Including the penultimate track, These Are the Days, where the band deliver one of their most touching pieces of music heard on the entire album.
How do you recover from the wealth of emotion that track created? By wallowing in a bit more with the mellow sound of The Parting Wave. Yet, it’s an uplifting closer too. A melody-driven smile-inducing finish to an album that is so very Flogging Molly. In the best ways possible.
Flogging Molly – Anthem Full Track Listing:
1. These Times Have Got Me Drinking
2. A Song of Liberty
3. Life Begins and Ends (But Never Fails)
4. No Last Goodbyes
5. The Croppy Boy ’98
6. This Road of Mine
7. (Try) Keep the Man Down
8. Now Is the Time
9. Lead The Way
10. These Are the Days
11. The Parting Wave
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Flogging Molly - Anthem (Rise Records)
The Final Score - 7/10