Within a Mile of Home
It’s almost impossible to describe Flogging Molly, short of saying that they sound like Rancid playing Irish folk songs. They’re tougher than The Pogues, and not quite as tough as Dropkick Murphys.
That being said, I had images of pirates and leprechauns bouncing through my head as I listened to the 15 tracks on Within a Mile of Home. There’s a true sense of Irish folk life in just about every song here, with the predominant mood being celebratory and triumphant. The majority of these songs fall into the “good for drinking” category, with “Light of a Fading Start” being a perfect example. It’s almost bleeding with drunkenness and the happiness that comes from true friendship (you know, the “I’ve just been dumped, but I am sure am glad you’re here to be my comforting friend” happiness). The dancing tracks are spastic, fast and shit-kicking, even if the best one does have a flute in it.
All of the songs here feature, at the very least, guitar, bass and drums, but additional instruments include flutes, accordions, fiddles, mandolin and other apparently not-so-punk-rock instruments. But that’s the beauty of an album like Within a Mile of Home. It reminds us that punk rock doesn’t have to sound a certain way. It needs simply to be reactionary. And that, Flogging Molly is.