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Flogging Molly - Within A Mile Of Home

  by Alex Halls

published: 14 / 9 / 2004

Flogging Molly - Within A Mile Of Home
Label: Side One Dummy
Format: CD


Enjoyable but thought-provoking third album from sprawling Dublin septet, Flogging Molly, which finds them contininuing to blend punk rock with traditional Irish music

To look at Flogging Molly in person one would find it difficult to describe any particular affiliation to a specific lifestyle let alone a musical genre. One member regularly dons a flat cap, but that is as close as one gets to deciphering their appearance: on the other hand, the music gives it all away. The band’s third studio album, 'Within A Mile Of Home', continues their blend of punk rock and traditional Irish music, never relaxing in its quest to both entertain and remain true to its roots. Happy to be doing what comes naturally to him, after all the raw basis of this music is his heritage, the 7-piece outfit that is Flogging Molly is the sole concept of Dublin-born Dave King. His vision, at times, can make you even feel yourself transported back into Irish history, especially in 'Tobacco Island', which tells of the oppression of the Irish by the British. The feeling of being oppressed by life itself is also sensed throughout the album but in no respect does 'Within a Mile of Home' attempt to depress. 'Screaming At The Wailing Wall' continues the band’s semi-crusade against President Bush that had started with 'Drunken Lullabies' on the second volume of the Fat Wreck Chords label's 'Rock Against Bush' compilation series. This time round the lyrics are aimed directly at the religious reasons behind Bush’s war on Iraq, using all the band’s animosity to channel a positive musical energy and to create the most pumped up track on the album; reminiscent, in fact, of an Irish jig. The addition of extra instruments, the mandolin, accordion, fiddle, concertina, and whistle, to name but a few, to combine with the electric guitars and drums is instrumental in retaining the traditional sound but also sets Flogging Molly apart from the competition. The instrumental variety on display makes every track new and exciting, seen best in the slower start to 'Wanderlust' and the frantic beginning in 'Queen Anne’s Revenge'. Multi Grammy-winning singer-songwriter Lucinda Williams adds her country voice to King’s in an enchanting duet on 'Factory Girls', showing the attraction to Flogging Molly from within the music industry as well as amongst the fans: to attract such a big name artist must be to have created one more than creditable song at least. In all honesty it is difficult to class 'Within A Mile Of Home' as a punk album in the traditional sense: the Irish musical influence makes sure of this. It is often raucous and energetic, before pausing to use the style of ballads so synonymous with Irish music; here performed in delectable fashion ('Don’t Let Me Die Still Wondering').' Within A Mile Of Home' is as unique as it is compelling. To transcend two genres isn’t always the easiest task but, where it comes naturally, that task becomes simpler, proved beyond doubt within every one of Flogging Molly’s 15 new tracks. There are of course limitations to mixing genres, such as when the music veers more to one style. This does occur frequently on 'Within A Mile Of Home' but don’t let that put you off adding such eclecticism to your collection.

Track Listing:-
1 Screaming At The Wailing Wall
2 The Seven Deadly Sins
3 Factory Girls
4 To Youth (My Sweet Roisin Dubh)
5 Whistles The Wind
6 The Light Of A Fading Star
7 Tobacco Island
8 The Wrong Company
9 Tomorrow Comes A Day Too Soon
10 Queen Anne's Revenge
11 The Wanderlust
12 Within A Mile Of Home
13 The Spoken Wheel
14 With A Wonder And A Wild Desire
15 Don't Let Me Die Still Wondering

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