Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Retrospective: Flogging Molly (Part 2)

After a long (forced) break, I am back with the thrilling conclusion to the Flogging Molly story.

Within A Mile of Home (2004)
Within A Mile of Home was the first Flogging Molly album that I heard. A friend of mine in my art class had it in her CD player, I proceeded to borrow it every day for a week, before she burnt me my own copy. That semester alone I must have listened to the album a dozen times, most times in art class, and almost never getting past the ninth track. The first eight songs matched up so well with the length of class that, by the end of the year, I knew all the words to tracks one through eight, and almost nothing of everything past nine. Fortunately it's been five years at this point, so I have heard every track numerous times.
My favorite tracks still fall within the first half, but are now well encompassed within the entire album as well. It would alot easier to name the songs I like less then the rest; "Queen Anne's Revenge" isn't too bad but it is uncharacteristically darker then the rest of the album, "The Wanderlust" annoys me for some reason, but after listening to their acoustic album, Whiskey On A Sunday, I enjoy the acoustic version much more, the last song I don't like is "The Spoken Wheel," it just doesn't seem like much of a song to me, more of a poem someone wrote that they decided to add a tune too.
That's it, out of fifteen songs, I really enjoy twelve of them. This still is my favorite Flogging Molly album, even after hearing the rest of their works. I'd suggest starting your Flogging Molly career on this album.
  1. "Screaming at the Wailing Wall" – 3:41
  2. "Seven Deadly Sins" – 2:50
  3. "Factory Girls" – 3:51
  4. "To Youth (My Sweet Roisin Dubh)" – 3:17
  5. "Whistles the Wind" – 4:32
  6. "Light of a Fading Star" – 3:52
  7. "Tobacco Island" – 5:17
  8. "The Wrong Company" – 0:36
  9. "Tomorrow Comes a Day Too Soon" – 3:32
  10. "Queen Anne's Revenge" – 3:06
  11. "The Wanderlust" – 3:31
  12. "Within a Mile of Home" – 3:53
  13. "The Spoken Wheel" – 2:13
  14. "With a Wonder and a Wild Desire" – 3:40
  15. "Don't Let Me Die Still Wondering" – 4:17
2006 - Whiskey On A Sunday (Acoustic/Live Album)
Whiskey On A Sunday is a CD/DVD combo, to give alternate versions of their most popular songs. It's a half-and-half acoustic and live album, with only one studio track, a re-recording of "Laura" from their first album, the live Alive Behind The Green Door (remember I talked about that one?). I feel that this is the weakest of their albums, not being a fan of acoustic or live. The one stand-out is "Laura," I love this new version and after I hear it I end up singing the chorus to myself for the rest of the day (I am humming it right now as I write this). The only other song I like off this release is the acoustic version of "The Wanderlust," but I feel that is because I am not a fan of the studio version. I have noticed that of the acoustic songs I hear, the majority that I enjoy are alternate versions of songs I don't much care for when recorded in the studio. I just think my mind can't handle enjoying the same song two different ways - one has to be better. But anyway, if you like acoustic music check out Whiskey On A Sunday.
  1. "Laura" – 4:15
  2. "Drunken Lullabies" (Acoustic) – 4:55
  3. "The Wanderlust" (Acoustic) – 3:37
  4. "Another Bag of Bricks" (Acoustic) – 4:05
  5. "Tomorrow Comes a Day Too Soon" (Acoustic) – 3:39
  6. "The Likes of You Again" (Live) – 4:08
  7. "Swagger" (Live) – 2:14
  8. "Black Friday Rule" (Live) – 11:57
  9. "Within a Mile of Home" (Live) – 4:34
  10. "What's Left of the Flag" (Live) – 4:13
2007 - Complete Control Sessions (Live EP)
Complete Control Sessions is an online-only EP, originally only releases on iTunes but has sense been distributed to all the online music stores. This is the only Flogging Molly release that I have not heard (yet), and so I have very little to say. Because it is a live album, and I've already stated that I dislike live albums, I am in no particular rush to find this EP, but I assume I will eventually.
  1. "Requiem for a Dying Song" - 3:29
  2. "Whistles the Wind" - 4:06
  3. "Tobacco Island" - 4:30
  4. "Factory Girls" - 3:55
  5. "Float" - 4:48
  6. "Devil's Dance Floor" - 3:49
2008 - Float
The band's latest release, Float, is alot more rock-oriented then their others. I haven't listened to this albums nearly as much as the others, only once or twice sense I got it last fall. But even though it is my least known of the Flogging Molly discography, it is one of their most solid album. There is not one song on this disc that I dislike. My favorites are the rocky "Requiem for a Dying Song" and the re-recording of "Between a Man and a Woman" from their debut live album. This album is a great return to their Celtic-punk roots, after four years of silence, not counting their Acoustic album and live EP. I look forward to their next release, hopefully sooner rather then later.
  1. "Requiem for a Dying Song" - 3:30
  2. "(No More) Paddy's Lament" - 3:24
  3. "Float" - 4:53
  4. "You Won't Make a Fool Out of Me" - 2:43
  5. "The Lightning Storm" - 3:29
  6. "Punch Drunk Grinning Soul" - 4:20
  7. "Us of Lesser Gods" - 3:19
  8. "Between a Man and a Woman" - 3:21
  9. "From The Back of a Broken Dream" - 3:21
  10. "Man With No Country" - 3:04
  11. "The Story So Far" - 4:11
So there it is, my two-month long project that should have taken only a week. I am just really bad at keeping up a schedule. I have so many ideas but no drive to do them...

Monday, June 29, 2009

Recent Developments

Well it's been a brutal month to be sure. I haven't been posting because I haven't had Internet for the past 3 weeks, and I was 7 days from being homeless. But everything has been resolved (for now), I'm all moved into my new place, so as long as this month isn't as shitty as the past two have been I should be back up to my metal deeds again soon. And yes, I will finish my multi-piece on Flogging Molly.

Also MJ's dead...who really cares? I mean you can't deny his impact on popular music, but who likes popular music really? Obviously someone does, that's why it's popular, but this site isn't about what's popular - it's about what is good. So while I am not happy he is dead (mostly because of all the BS on TV about "what a great man he was"), I can't say it affected my life any... except for all the new jokes that I have heard (What do rigor mortis and 10 year-olds have in common? They are the only things that can make Michael Jackson hard!)

...Too soon?

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Retrospective: Flogging Molly (Part 1)

Continuing my planned three-part expose on Flogging Molly, after the slight break that I needed from my life. Working on the third installment, hope to have it published in a couple of days.

1997 - Alive Behind The Green Door

For their first album, Flogging Molly created a live EP, more to promote themselves then anything else. Alive Behind The Green Door is a collection of songs, most of which have made it on a studio album thus far, along with two covers. To date, the only original song that has not been recorded in the studio is "Never Met a Girl Like You Before," with "Every Dog Has Its Day," "Selfish Man," and "Black Friday Rule" appearing on Swagger, "Swagger" and "If I Ever Leave This World Alive" were recorded for Drunken Lullabies, "Laura" came out on Whiskey On A Sunday, and "Between a Man and a Woman" was recorded in 2008 for Float.
The two covers are "What Made Milwaukee Famous (Has Made A Loser Out of Me)" by Glenn Sutton, and "De (That's All Right) Lilah" which is a mash-up of Tom Jones' "Delilah" and Elvis Presley's "That's All Right."
  1. "Swagger" – 2:50
  2. "Every Dog Has Its Day" – 4:42
  3. "Selfish Man" – 3:08
  4. "Never Met a Girl Like You Before" – 3:36
  5. "Laura" – 4:40
  6. "If I Ever Leave This World Alive" – 3:44
  7. "Black Friday Rule" – 8:20
  8. "What Made Milwaukee Famous (Has Made A Loser Out of Me)" (Glenn Sutton Cover) – 2:45
  9. "Between a Man and a Woman" – 4:00
  10. "De (That's All Right) Lilah" (Tom Jones/Elvis Presley Cover) – 8:35
2000 - Swagger
Swagger was Flogging Molly's first studio release, and you can tell they put their all into it. While this wasn't the first album of theirs that I had heard, but it holds several of my favorites; "Salty Dog," "Selfish Man," and "Devil's Dance Floor" are all quick jig-like songs, all with different tempos throughout. This album also holds some of their most touching songs; "The Worst Day Since Yesterday," "Grace of God Go I," and "Far Away Boys" are all slow songs, often with mournful lyrics and melodies. While Swagger is not my favorite Flogging Molly album, it certainly is filled with great songs, crossing many subjects.
  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
2002 - Drunken Lullabies
Drunken Lullabies followed the same pattern that their previous release had - an eclectic mix of fast punk-infused jigs, with somber, slower melodies about heartbreak and the old country strewn throughout. For some reason it works. This album seems more story-oriented then Swagger, with the four songs of the album telling a tale of someone. It does strike me a bit odd that the song "Swagger" appears on this album, and the album bearing it's name; especially that we know they had written the song some time previously (as it appears on Alive Behind The Green Door), so it is a bit odd really. But it doesn't change the fact that this is another great album by a great band.
  1. "Drunken Lullabies" – 3:53
  2. "What's Left of the Flag" – 3:38
  3. "May the Living Be Dead (In Our Wake)" – 3:50
  4. "If I Ever Leave This World Alive" – 3:21
  5. "The Kilburn High Road" – 3:43
  6. "Rebels of the Sacred Heart" – 5:11
  7. "Swagger" – 2:05
  8. "Cruel Mistress" – 2:57
  9. "Death Valley Queen" – 4:18
  10. "Another Bag of Bricks" – 3:45
  11. "The Rare Ould Times" – 4:06
  12. "The Son Never Shines (On Closed Doors)" – 4:24

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Albums Listened To In May

Alot of listens this month. Until the last week of the month I was averaging 2 albums a day, then I had a little bit of a personal issue, and my house of cards crumbled. Oh well, I still got 53 albums in 31 days. Not my best, by far not my worst. I'll try harder in June.

There were alot of great albums this month, so I'm going to go into less detail then I normally would: Of course, as I said last month, I finished the works of Elf and they were great. Their rendition of blues rock is something amazing, something that should be covered more often.
The debut EP by The Company Band, Sign Here, Here & Here, makes me look forward to their first full-length, The Vacation Of Tomorrow, Today!, out sometime this summer (and also the new Clutch album, Strange Cousins from the West, due out on the 7th). With all the stoner rock/metal I've been listening to in the past week, these guys will fit right in.
After seeing the band Whole Wheat Bread live a few weeks ago (more about that here) I decided to give them a listen, and I am glad I did. Both their two albums and their EP are filled with great music, some punk rock, some hip-hop, most a mix of the two. I was surprised how catchy their riffs and lyrics were, as I found myself singing along with the chorus the first time listening to the albums, remembering their songs from their live show.
An honorable mention to the Incubus albums I listened to. One of my best friends, Circle K, is a huge Incubus fan, and shes been getting on me for a while to give them a listen, so I did. I have to say that my music tastes have evolved enough to enjoy them now. I originally gave them a shot four years ago, but couldn't get past the weirdness. But now I've heard System of A Down and Les Claypool, so I am open to the weird and crazy. Incubus is a go.

The only bad album of the month was An Age Undreamt Of... by Hyborian Steel. I was looking forward to this album, any band that knows about the Conan series enough to name themselves after it is ok in my book. Unfortunately the name was not enough. The music was boring, the lyrics were basic, and annoying. It was just a waste of my time overall.

But that's it! 53 albums, 32 of which were brand new, so one bad egg is not too bad at all. Hopefully the next month will be even better. (At the time of this writing (June 2nd) I'm already at 8 albums for the month, so June is off to a great start!)
  1. 3 - The End Is Begun
  2. 3 - Paint By Number
  3. 3 Headed Monster - 3 Headed Monster
  4. Afrika Bambaataa & Soulsonic Force - Planet Rock: The Album - Newly Listened!
  5. Alabama Thunderpussy - Rise Again - Newly Listened!
  6. Alestorm - Captan Morgan's Revenge
  7. Andrew W.K. - I Get Wet
  8. The Atomic Bitchwax - 3 - Newly Listened!
  9. The Atomic Bitchwax - The Atomic Bitchwax I - Newly Listened!
  10. The Atomic Bitchwax - The Atomic Bitchwax II - Newly Listened!
  11. Baroness - The Red Album
  12. The Company Band - Sign Here, Here & Here (EP) - Newly Listened!
  13. Dream Theater - Black Clouds & Silver Linings - Newly Listened!
  14. Dream Theater - Scenes From A Memory
  15. Elf - Carolina County Ball - Newly Listened!
  16. Elf - Trying To Burn The Sun - Newly Listened!
  17. Emerson, Lake & Palmer - Emerson, Lake & Palmer - Newly Listened!
  18. Fireball Ministry - Ou Est la Rock? - Newly Listened!
  19. Flogging Molly - Drunken Lullabies
  20. Flogging Molly - Float
  21. Flogging Molly - Swagger
  22. Flogging Molly - Whiskey On A Sunday
  23. Flogging Molly - Within A Mile Of Home
  24. Frank Zappa - Apostrophe (’)
  25. Frank Zappa - Over-Nite Sensation
  26. Funkadelic - Funkadelic - Newly Listened!
  27. Grave Digger - Ballads Of A Hangman - Newly Listened!
  28. Grave Digger - The Last Supper - Newly Listened!
  29. Hyborian Steel - An Age Undreamt Of... - Newly Listened!
  30. Incubus - Fungus Amongus
  31. Incubus - S.C.I.E.N.C.E. - Newly Listened!
  32. The Lord Weird Slough Feg - Ape Uprising - Newly Listened!
  33. Monster Magnet - Powertrip - Newly Listened!
  34. Nocturnal Rites - New World Messiah
  35. Parliament - The Clones Of Dr. Funkenstein - Newly Listened!
  36. Parliament - Funkentelechy Vs. the Placebo Syndrome - Newly Listened!
  37. Parliament - Mothership Connection - Newly Listened!
  38. The Real McKenzies - The Real McKenzies - Newly Listened!
  39. Shinedown - The Sound of Madness - Newly Listened!
  40. StormWarrior - Heavy Metal Fire (EP) - Newly Listened!
  41. Tom Morello: The Nightwatchman - The Fabled City
  42. Tom Morello: The Nightwatchman - One Man Revolution
  43. Turisas - Battle Metal
  44. Turisas - The Heart Of Turisas (EP) - Newly Listened!
  45. Turisas - Rasputin (Single) - Newly Listened!
  46. Turisas - The Varangian Way
  47. Warren Zevon - Wanted Dead Or Alive - Newly Listened!
  48. Warren Zevon - Warren Zevon - Newly Listened!
  49. White Skull - Forever Fight - Newly Listened!
  50. Whole Wheat Bread - Hearts of Hoodlums - Newly Listened!
  51. Whole Wheat Bread - Minority Rules - Newly Listened!
  52. Whole Wheat Bread - Punk Life (EP) - Newly Listened!
  53. Wolfmother - Wolfmother