Whiskey of the Damned are a Wisconsin based Celtic-punk outfit fronted by Irishman Eoin McCarthy. Not sure how an Irish man could end up in Wisconsin other than getting lost on the way to Chicago but Eoin’s bio has it that he has a long musical history staring playing at 9 with his farther Irish singer Finbar McCarthy and even getting guitar lessons along the line from Van Morrison – no mention of being lost though.
Now the first thing that strikes me about the Monsters are Real album is the band photo on the back, the band are in make-up, horror punk Misfits meets Alice Cooper make up. I’m not sure if Whiskey of the Damned are starting a new genre Celtic-Horror-Punk or if the face paint is just a play on the album name. Kind of hoping that it’s for real (though poking around the web I only see live pictures sans the grease paint).
It took me a few spins to start getting into Monsters are Real, initially I heard fast Celtic punk that reminds me of Flogging Molly meeting Lexington Field – fast and trashy but with a fiddle that says more Mid-West then West Cork. Then after those initial spins I notice something I should have picked up on the first spin that being the sheer power and quality of McCarthy’s voice, boy can this guy sing – power, clarity and passion like you wouldn’t believe. I’ll go out on a limb and say McCarthy has the finest voice in Celtic-punk (and that includes Dave King), maybe Van the Moan threw in a few vocal lessons to boot. Of course a good voice won’t do it alone, the band are tight as f#*k, loud and fast and the songs first class and while still fast and trashy
A real monster of an album
There are two types of bands that have long, successful careers. The bands that stick to the basics and the same tried and true formula that keeps the punters happy and screaming for more of the same – AC/DC, The Ramones, Motorhead – you always know what your getting from these guys. Then there are the groups that can reinvent themselves, change direction and bring along the fan base – U2, Bowie and Costello. Its a brave thing to try and change and its difficult to successfully bring along the fan base – Kiss, The Rolling Stones and even The Pogues faltered and stumbled when they did something outside the expected. So when FM put out “Don’t Shut ‘Em Down” as a teaser it was one of those “what the [email protected]” moments as the entire FM army scratched their head. No pints! No pirates! More The Jam with a Celtic/industrial bent meets Billy Bragg and Michael Moore – the Detroit move must have really influenced Dave’s outlook on life.
So, what’s the rest of the album like – a mix of the newish stuff and stuff that would be more at home on Float or Within a Mile of Home. Unfortunately, if any of those oldish tracks did make it onto either of those album they wouldn’t be the memorable ones – and there lies the problem, good songs don’t just cut it for FM, they can’t be merely good and experimental, they need to be great (or have at least 3 great songs) and experimental to pull it off. They only get close once to great once on the track “Revolution”.
I’m going to give some of the benefit of the doubt to the use of new producer (Ryan Hewitt of Red Hot Chili Peppers fame) and blame him for the newish tracks and the dulled sound and I’m gonna claim Speed…would have been so much better with Ted Hult or Steve Albin behind the glass.
In the end of the day Speed the Darkness is a good album with some brave ideas but not a great one and Flogging Molly needs to do great
Podcast#42 features the brand spanking new release from Flogging Molly – Speed Of Darkness. We also have music from Dropkick Murphys (just for comparison purposes), Shane MacGowan doing Yeats, a couple of tracks from fellow Pogue Terry Murray – Sweeneys Men (from 1968) and The Woods Band (from 2001). Chicago’s The Tossers sing about, well, Chicago and we round things out with Brendan Behan the original Irish-punk.
Brendan Behan, 1923- 1964. Playwright, Gunman, Convict, Drinker and all round Hell raiser. The Auld Triangle was first performed in his play The Quare Fellow and he beacame the model and inspiration for The Pogues, The Tossers and Flogging Molly – the image and the attitude
Shane MacGowan – An Irish Airman Forsees His Death – Now and in time to be
Flogging Molly – Speed Of Darkness – Speed Of Darkness
Flogging Molly – Saints & Sinners – Speed Of Darkness
Dropkick Murphys – Memorial Day – Going Out In Style
The Woods Band – The Dublin Jack Of All Trades – Music from the 5 corners of Hell
The Tossers – Chicago – Purgatory
Flogging Molly – Revolution- Speed Of Darkness
Sweeney’s Men – Waxie’s Dargle – single a-side, 1968
Brendan Behan – Who Fears To Speak Of Easter Week
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Don’t Shut ‘Em Down is the first single to be taken from Flogging Molly’s forthcoming 6th studio album ‘Speed Of Darkness’ which will be release on 31 May 2011.
Not to sure about this track myself, sounds a bit like The Jam with fiddles and not so much Flogging Molly. Hope the rest of the album is more Flogging Molly sounding.
Flogging Molly will be releasing a limited edition 7″ in honor of Record Store Day, this Saturday the 16th! The vinyl features “Don’t Shut ‘Em Down” along with an exclusive acoustic version of “Saints and Sinners”, both off Speed of Darkness.
April 22 – Hasselt, Belgium – Groezrock Festival
April 27 – Austin, TX – Stubb’s
April 28 – Baton Rouge, LA – Varsity Theatre
May 4 – Colorado Springs, CO – City Auditorium
May 27 – Reno, NV – Knitting Factory
May 28 – Boise, ID – Knitting Factory
May 29 – Quincy, WA – Sasquatch Music Festival
June 11 – Munster, Germany – Vainstream Festival
June 15 – Milan, Italy – Rock in Idro Festival
Flogging Molly has just been added to the Rock in Idrho bill; June 15, 2011 – Milan, Italy!
The line up is amazing – Iggy and the Stooges, Social Distortion and the Poo Fighters as well as our beloved FM.
Download the new Flogging Molly single, “Don’t Shut ‘Em Down,” off of the forthcoming new studio album – for FREE HERE!!
SideOneDummy press release:
“Good evening Los Angeles, we’re Flogging Molly and this is what we do.” Those were the first words from singer Dave King on the evening of September 12, 2009, when Flogging Molly took the stage at the legendary Greek Theatre in Los Angeles, CA. For a man who twelve years prior was playing at the helm of what was arguably a local bar band, headlining the Greek Theatre was surely a crowning achievement for him and his six compatriots.
Born at an Irish pub called Molly Malone’s on Hollywood’s Fairfax Blvd, Flogging Molly rose from relative obscurity through years of hard work and relentless touring, blending traditional Irish folk instrumentation with heartfelt punk rock. Never lacking for confidence and swagger, the band respectfully declined to accept an award from the LA Weekly in 1998 for ‘best bar band’, as they had much bigger dreams and aspirations than that title conveyed. Remarkably enough, only weeks before the Greek Theatre show, Flogging Molly was awarded an official Gold record plaque from the RIAA for their 2002 release, Drunken Lullabies. 500,000 units sold in this day and age is no small feat for any act, and once again it is a testament to the band’s foresight and evidence of the impact of their music on the throngs of fans that they play in front of each year.
LIVE AT THE GREEK THEATRE is both a DVD and double CD of Flogging Molly’s amazing performance in all its glory. Directed by Kevin Custer, LIVE AT THE GREEK THEATRE is a must have for all Flogging Molly fans and a uniquely special introduction for those music fans that have yet to experience Flogging Molly’s uniquely powerful show first hand. Playing songs from all of their albums throughout their ninety minute set, Flogging Molly has never looked or sounded better, as the event was shot with 8 high definition cameras including a jib crane and the audio was mixed by Grammy award winning engineer Ryan Hewitt, who co-produced the band’s recent release ‘Float’.
LIVE AT THE GREEK THEATRE will be in stores on March 2nd, 2010 and also includes interviews and candid backstage bonus features. This is the ultimate All Access pass into the world of Flogging Molly at a truly legendary Los Angeles venue, and in addition to the DVD of the performance and two audio CDs the package includes a booklet with amazing photos from the entire night.
CLICK HERE TO WATCH THE TRAILER FOR LIVE AT THE GREEK THEATRE