After 6 years of silence on the level of releasing albums, the Celtic rock/punk sensations Flogging Molly are back with their 6th release Life Is Good. Whenever these guys are coming to your town or country it’s something to look forward to ’cause they always blow the roof off at their gigs. And somehow they manage to project this kind of energy in their always skillfully build albums as well. Now was this worth the wait or is it a bit forgettable next to their already long list of classics?
One thing you can always be sure of when you get an album by Flogging Molly in your hands: you’ll get emotionally charged and energetic folk rock with touches of punk and often social awareness and criticism. Which is exactly what you get, though with the element of that social awareness and criticism cranked up a notch. Which is not too surprising since there’s a lot of shit lately in the world to talk about… But while doing so they never sound overly angry or depressed: they bring the voice of positivism and hope to our doorsteps. Like in Reptiles (We Woke Up) they call out to “for once in this life, make these wrongs right and then, seize the day”. The song feels so damn relevant with all the protests and such going on lately, we definitely woke up and let’s indeed not fall asleep again. This feels like a great modern day protest song bolstering some punk attitude in a folk (rock) dressing and became quickly one of my favorites on the album.
Flogging Molly has always been known as great storytellers, they’ve sung about pirates, drinking, the hardship of life, historical figures and Irish heritage among many other topics. And on Life Is Good that trend is very much continued with for instance a song about the “Boston Strong Boy” John L. Sullivan in their first single The Hand of John L. Sullivan, which is a highly contagious and energetic track that reminds us a bit of some of those classics that set the dance floors all over the world ablaze. Title track and central song of the album Life is Good is a wonderful celebration of life and dedicated to frontman Dave King‘s recently deceased mother as a reminder of some of the last words she told her son: “Enjoy yourselves, ’cause I surely did.”. A powerful message and probably one of their strongest and almost most heartfelt songs to date by them due to this intimate and emotional content.
Maybe not every single song is as perfect or strong, but even the less memorable tracks are made with love and passion for musical craftsmanship. With Crushed (Hostile Nations) they bring the pirate vibe of the good old days back again with a traditional Irish touch that somehow makes me think of the rebels from “Braveheart”. One of many of their songs I catch myself dancing, singing and nodding along to, with a wide grin on my face. And the positive vibe gets highlighted even more in the very folky and light-hearted Hope (that is still just a shout away, like it was yesterday), another singalong song of which I can only imagine the goosebumps I’d get when a crowd would be singing along to the refrain.
Flogging Molly brought with their 6th full length nothing new under the horizon, but deliver yet again an album filled with high-quality folk rock/punk songs with a big heart and loads of passion. If you really get what the band is about and appreciate decent and honest music, just don’t hesitate to blast this album through your speakers! For our readers in Europe, go have a look on their Facebook page, cause they’re coming to you this Summer! And to quote the last song of the album: “Until We Meet Again” (on a Flogging Molly dance floor, that is).
Release date: June 2nd, 2017
Label: Vanguard/Spinefarm Records
1. There’s Nothing Left Pt. 1
2. The Hand of John L. Sullivan
3. Welcome To Adamstown
4. Reptiles (We Woke Up)
5. The Days We’ve Yet To Meet
6. Life Is Good
7. The Last Serenade (Sailors and Fisherman)
8. The Guns Of Jericho
9. Crushed (Hostile Nations)
11. The Bride Wore Black
12. Until We Meet Again