Flogging Molly

California's Flogging Molly is a refreshing respite from a pop music world increasingly saturated with marketing-friendly pseudo-punk bands spewing less-than-lyrical songs about teenage infidelity and parents who just don't understand. Swagger, Molly's latest album, is pure drunken Irish emotion that runs the gamut from mature bad day ballads like "Today Is the Worst Day Since Yesterday" to the kick-in-the-pants "Salty Dog." Not once do these songs refer to the trite pop-punk staples listed above. With time, Flogging Molly could rival the legendary Pogues in the realm of gritty Irish-influenced rock and roll. And Swagger couldn't be better timed. The venerable Pogues are pondering a comeback; one has to wonder if it isn't because they've noticed Flogging Molly's giddy reception.
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Brandon Cullum