As with Boston's Dropkick Murphys, Flogging Molly out of Los Angeles here fuse furious punk anger with their Irish roots for often incendiary and air-punching rock with bellowing choruses.
With the downturn in the American economy they've got something to rage against on this album which tosses out "I spent 27 years in this factory now the bossman says, 'Now you're not what we need', the penguins in the suits know nothing but greed ..." (Revolution).
Struggle and rebellion are in their DNA (although writer Dave King was born in Dublin, not Belfast), but they appreciate flat-tack rage can be a bit much over the long haul. So here they also lean towards a more boisterous Waterboys (the swaggering Heart of the Sea), Jam-era New Wave (the rather lame Don't Shut 'Em Down), the customary fiddle-driven folk-rock (The Power's Out), a shanty-like ballad on So Sail On which opens "time to take a breath once more before the hammer blow" and a welcome piano ballad in The Cradle of Humankind.
Writer King has something to say and is part of a fine lineage, but musically this works some too-familiar territory.
For most this is one to enjoy live in an Irish pub while imagining some great bond with the unemployed, poor or rebels of yesteryear. St Paddy's Day pub-rock.
Verdict: The rebel voices are still heard, with an Irish accent
- TimeOut / elsewhere.co.nz