The Observer is a Student-run, daily print & online newspaper serving Notre Dame & Saint Mary's. Learn more about us.



Flogging Molly Discography

Marty Schroeder | Wednesday, April 25, 2007

The best way to describe punk band Flogging Molly would be a Guinness-soaked-musical bodyflow with a brain. Socially conscious lyrics mixed with a raucous Irish-punk sound make Flogging Molly one of the most creative and unique bands to hit stages in the United States.

Alive Behind the Green Door (1997)

This live album marked the debut Flogging Molly release. It was recorded at the bar where Flogging Molly first formed, L.A.’s Molly Malone’s. It features many of the songs that would become Molly staples. “Every Dog Has His Day” and “Selfish Man” would feature prominently on Flogging Molly’s next album while others, such as “Swagger,” would feature on later albums.

Why buy this album if many of the songs are on its later studio albums? Well, not all of the songs on “Alive Behind the Green Door” are on later studio albums, most notably, the epic “Delilah.” While any fan of Flogging Molly has heard “Delilah” either at a live show or on this live album, it has never been recorded for a studio album. No one really knows why this is the case, but it remains a Flogging Molly staple that shouldn’t be missed.

Swagger (2000)

The first studio album Flogging Molly released took the punk world by storm when it was released in 2000. In a time when bands such as Pennywise and NOFX were specializing in straight up punk-rock, Flogging Molly’s Irish-infused punk sounded like something that came from the moon – and everyone loved it. It toured with the likes of punk legends Anti-Flag and was able to build up a sizable fan-base. The band began touring with the punk festival Warped Tour and was able to make itself better known because of it.

Swagger is regarded by some to be its best, though not its most accessible album. Tracks such as “Salty Dog” and “The Likes of You Again” keep the tempo at a breakneck pace while others, such as the moving final track, “Far Away Boys” remind you of the influence that traditional Irish music has had on the band.

Drunken Lullabies (2002)

“Drunken Lullabies” marked the breakout into the mainstream for Flogging Molly. This does not mean, however, that the band began making mainstream music. Its creative blend of punk, rock and Irish music stayed just as creative and catchy. Mainstream means kids outside of the punk scene began to take notice – and loved what they heard. Perhaps a more personal album for primary songwriter and frontman Dave King, “Lullabies” has more to say about the Catholic Church and the history of the Irish people in general.

Tracks such as “Rebels of the Sacred Heart” not only keep the toes tapping but also put your fist in the air as King tears through the fast-paced chords and smart lyrics. With a refrain like, “‘Cuz we find ourselves in the same old mess / singing drunken lullabies,” the album’s eponymous feel-good jaunt sings about friends, alcohol and getting into trouble – and the relationship between the three.

This song also clocks in at 5:11, the longest track on the album, as the rest of the band flexes its musical muscles and explores the musical realm Flogging Molly has created.

Bridget Regan stars on the violin and tin whistle, George Schwindt on the drums, Dennis Casey on guitar, Nathan Maxwell on bass, Matt Hensley on accordion (since replaced by P.J. Smith) and Bob Schmidt on mandolin and banjo. Larger than most bands, Flogging Molly does not see this as a burden, but as a boon – every instrument and musician is allowed to explore its full range.

Within A Mile of Home (2004)

The third album in four years saw Flogging Molly branching out from its traditional musical mode. The “I just want to get up and dance” music is still there in tracks like “Seven Deadly Sins” and “Tobacco Island.”

Songs like “Factory Girls” (about King’s mother) and “Light of a Fading Star,” however, put the brakes on the band in terms of tempo but not in terms of creativity. This album is a more introspective one, and it’s clear King put his heart and soul into the lyrics and the whole band into the music.

The band also pays heed to the musical greats that have come before by dedicating the album to the late and great Johnny Cash and Joe Strummer, frontman of the seminal punk band the Clash. Flogging Molly looks not only to its Irish cultural roots but also its seemingly disparate musical roots – something mentioned frequently in its live shows.

Flogging Molly is reportedly working on what would be its fourth studio album, and the future looks nothing but bright. Having entertained audiences for more than 10 years, Flogging Molly doesn’t just know how to write good music. It performs to perfection.

The band’s live shows are raucous and loud – exactly the way it wants them to be. Not just a concert, a Flogging Molly show will change your perceptions of what concerts should be.