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Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Flogging Molly -- Swagger

 photo Flogging_molly_swagger_cd_cover_zpsf46b63fc.jpg

Flogging Molly's Swagger has accompanied so many good times in my life, it's hard not to think of the album as an old friend. I remember blasting it in my car as I'd make my early afternoon, last crawfish delivery of the day, pausing it to call my wife to figure out what awesome thing we were going to do that afternoon from the home base of our 600 sq ft apartment (just reverse that floor plan), be it getting new tattoos at the now defunct Acme Tattoo, digging around for new music (found this album on vinyl) at the now-defunct Compact Disc Store, grabbing some incredible pizza at the thankfully not-defunct Fleur de Lis, the classic but ended-with-parenthood mall and a movie combo, or the absolute greatest option, hitting China One and throwing down a Hamilton to get about ten pounds of delicious food, renting a movie from the now defunct Blockbuster, and passing out on the couch with giant smiles from a sodium-inspired coma. Man, 2008 was great. It's crazy how much the world has changed in half a decade.
Wait a minute. This isn't what Flogging Molly's Swagger reminds you of? Then music is subjective? Holy Crap!
Swagger's energetic, Celtic-punk infused sea shanties, slum tales, and life musings are about as feel-good as music gets, and if it doesn't put just a little spring in your step, you like different kinds of music than I do.
What really makes this album for me is the wide variation in tempos from song to song. Swagger features a decent amount of more slowed down tracks alongside its more blazing ones, but that energetic spark, like a twinkle in frontman, Irishman Dave King's eye, exists in every song. Dave King is from Ireland. His name is not Irishman Dave King. Sorry for the confusion.
Anyway, even in the stark, vocal only "Grace Of God Go I," Swagger never loses its way. It's tough to carry this type of energy over 54 minutes, and this near hour run-time might be Swagger's only flaw, but it's only just barely overstuffed. Just like with China One, two pounds of fried rice might have been a little much to go along with my three pounds of barbecued spare-ribs, but I'd be lying if I said I didn't enjoy every second of eating them, and stealing a few pieces of my wife's sweet and sour chicken as well.

The awesome thing is, my kid loves this album. In all the good spirited fun, it's usually hard to remember there are a few choice words in Swagger I'd rather he not hear just yet. Here's his favorite track, and one I can often relate to in a pessimistically jovial sort of way.

2000 SideOneDummy
1. Salty Dog 2:21
2. Selfish Man 2:54
3. The Worst Day Since Yesterday 3:38
4. Every Dog Has Its Day 4:24
5. Life in a Tenement Square 3:11
6. The Ol' Beggars Bush 4:34
7. The Likes of You Again 4:33
8. Black Friday Rule 6:57
9. Grace of God Go I 1:55
10. Devil's Dance Floor 3:59
11. These Exiled Years 5:15
12. Sentimental Johnny 4:47
13. Far Away Boys 5:06

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