Flogging Molly: Life Is Good (Vanguard)

Flogging Molly
Life Is Good
(Vanguard)

Twenty years into their career, Flogging Molly have managed to survive musical fads and a slew of weak imitators to emerge as one of the finest bands to ever blend traditional Celtic and American punk rock influences. You’d have to go back to the Pogues to find anyone else who can consistently deliver as reliable as Flogging Molly, album after album.

‘Life Is Good,’ their sixth studio effort, keeps the streak going. Through solid song writing and brilliant musicianship, the band delivers another raucous standout record. While Flogging Molly was impressive even as far back as their 2000 debut ‘Swagger,’ front man Dave King has sharpened his writing and can turn a phrase in such a unique way that even Springsteen would be in awe. Similarly, the band’s sound has grown confident with each new record.

This collection starts out slow with the subdued “There’s Northing Left Pt. 1,” but then quickly moves into the rowdier “The Hand of John L. Sullivan” and “Welcome to Adamstown,” another boisterous rocker, with a tight horn section and tighter chorus. Throughout the dozen tracks here, fast and slow, the band reels off one solid song after another. In doing so, Flogging Molly manage to cement their reputation as one of the strongest bands going, of any genre.