Flogging Molly somehow managed to stay on top of the game over the years. From Swagger, their debut full-length that skyrocketed them to fame, over essentials like Drunken Lullabies, Within A Mile Of Home, Whiskey On A Sunday, and Float, and soon-to-be classics like Speed Of Darkness and Life Is Good, there are only a few other bands who managed to blend ear-appealing Irish folk aesthetics with energetic punk rock like Flogging Molly. This band is a gem that constantly shines bright among many contemporaries and legendary Irish folk bands that paved the way for many other, smaller fishes in the pond. Thankfully, Flogging Molly are a busy band that continuously works on new songs, so their brand new record, Anthem, drops on September 9th via Rise Records.
Anthem consists of eleven excellent folk-punk songs that will immediately indulge listening apparatuses of those old fans and win the hearts of the new ones. The band and the record label heavily promoted this material over the web and social media with These Times Have Got Me Drinking, The Croppy Boy ’98, and This Road Of Mine. These divine compositions perfectly demonstrate what you may expect from this album, and Flogging Molly unquestionably planned each sonic maneuver on it. As with any other new material, it will take some time until the fans fully embrace these songs as their anthems, but the entire album sounds like an instant classic without any weak moments. Anthem is a comprehensive collection of Irish folk-punk anthems meant to be sung at the pub with a glass of whiskey, pint of beer, or two, and I can already picture those moments in my mind while listening to these songs.
Flogging Molly always cleverly balanced between folk and punk rock music, but somehow the punk rock side was always more dominant in the mix. That’s not the case with Anthem. The band mellowed out over the years, and that’s vividly hearable while listening to these songs. It’s the best possible thing they could do. These songs lean much more towards the folk side, and this change suits them well. Maybe some punk rockers will find this drastic change as a strategic move to gather more fans of classic Irish folk, but Flogging Molly are still into punk rock. These genre crossovers are more than necessary to keep the attention of the public, and Flogging Molly is a band including experienced musicians who’re fully aware of that fact. Their outstanding ideas and exceptional musicianship will motivate you to listen to the Anthem from scratch to finish, even if you came for a couple of straightforward punk rock tracks.
Flogging Molly invested years of experience into this material. You’ll be blown away by the number of cathartic moments decorated with thoughtfully arranged chord progressions, themes, melodies, harmonies, and other sonic delicacies. The band strikes hard at the beginning, but their tunes mellow out as the album progresses. You’ll hear how they focused more on acoustic than electric performance, but you’ll not notice any change in the dynamics of the material. Speaking of dynamics, the rhythm section keeps this material even more enjoyable with all those powerful rhythmic sequences, accentuations, and beats. Besides music, Flogging Molly always thought about the lyric aspect, so that’s the case with the Anthem. Their compositions act like stories, and together they build an audiobook worth listening to repeatedly. Anthem drops on September 9th via Rise Records. Don’t miss it!