New Music

Flogging Molly
Drunken Lullabies
Side One Dummy

Forget Ireland's vibrant traditional music and culture. On these shores, the ould sod is usually an excuse for frat boys to dry hump, spill beer and barf on their own shoes. What would James Joyce say about that? Well, maybe he'd say it was okay. And maybe he'd say the same thing about Flogging Molly, the former house band at LA pub Molly Malone's. This rave-up Irish-style outfit features singer/songwriter Dave King, a bona fide Irishman who has lived in the States for about a decade (which separates them from the majority of bands who play Irish-appropriated music but whose members have never fallen in a bog or watched their daddy drink himself into a stupor). King, a colorful and naturally redheaded chap, begins many of his songs by sentimentalizing over “a girl with the face of an angel” or “Dublin City in the rare oul' times” as he plaintively strums his acoustic guitar, but the songs quickly kick in with drums, bass, electric guitar, violin, accordion and mandolin, all going hog-wild. The combination of traditional Irish instrumentation with punk rock-style distorted guitar is a good one, but to a sober ear, this appealing pack of nutters can appear more than a wee bit preposterous. Sometimes it's about as silly—and as Irish—as Leprechaun in the Hood, but then again, exaggerated melodrama is very much the heart and soul of Irish songwriting, and King is most certainly the sort to be doubled over on the bar, wailing into his Guinness. Flogging Molly should be quite proud: they're a second-rate Pogues, but in some ways, that's a fine thing to be. (Adam Bregman)

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