If your cheesy, green-beer-swilling, American version of Saint Paddy's Day got a Mohawk and a few tattoos, then did a fat line of blow along with its usual bucketfuls of Jameson, it would look a lot like Flogging Molly. This band turns traditional Irish music on its drunken ear, incorporating a foin wee bit o' fiddle and sweet Emerald Isle melodies, then hammering them into rude, cymbal-bashing, distortion-heavy punk songs. Actually, they're too nice to be considered hard-core and too nasty to be traditional Irish -- but, by God, they're a fun buncha sods. As evidenced by the band's February release, Drunken Lullabies, engineered by Steve Albini, Flogging Molly is just coming to realize what it is. Taking the best thrashy bits of its debut record, Swagger, and leaving behind the tamer traditional songs, the ensemble has found a way to be old and new at the same time, landing in a spot that goes beyond the Pogues and Black 47. It's a place between SoCal and Dublin, where Mike Ness can get wasted with Van Morrison and still keep an edge. That's where Flogging Molly lives. Bless 'em.
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