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Band: Flogging Molly
Album: Drunken Lullabies
Label: Side One Dummy
Year: 2002
Reviewer: Brinepacer

        A summer on the Warped tour seems to have had a considerable effect on Flogging Molly, as Drunken Lullabies sees them playing up their punk side and stowing away the ballads more than on their debut, Swagger. And for the better too - Drunken Lullabies is a stonger and more consistent album. The band are tighter, a fact highlighted by the raw production of Steve Albini, who, as on Swagger, lets them play on their strengths to produce twelve tracks of hi-octane celt-core.

        King seems to have hit his lyrical stride, at times damning and at others despondent. A recent trip home weighs heavy in the albums lyrics, casting a mournful shadow - “The Kilburn High Road”, a rousing anthem, ends with “Oh Mary, this london's a wonderful sight”, a line from “Mountains Of Mourne”, a classic (and terribly sad) old Irish ode to immigration. Elsewhere, on “The Son Never Shines (On Closed Doors)”, King sings of his mother - “Death comes like a thief in the night… Well maybe it's then, she said, I'll see you again”.

        But all the while an air of excitement permeates the performances, King audibly eggs on guitarist Dennis Casy, shouting “C'mon Dennis” at the beginning of Swagger, a song instrimental only for an occasional shout of “Don't know where I'm going”. At the songs end King can be heard commenting “Bad fookin' arse”. Bassist Nathen Maxwell turns his hand to singing on “Cruel Mistress”, penning a tale of a sad life on the sea with the immortal line “Now every whale spouts 'Go to Hell!'”

        Make no mistake, in all respects Flogging Molly have hit their stride and made an album the Pogues would be proud of, delivering an absolute classic that, even in march, is a safe bet for album of the year.