Having cracked the American Top Ten with their last album, Speed Of Darkness, self-styled Los Angeles Celtic punks Flogging Molly have taken six years to deliver the follow-up.
Given they’ve spent much of that time touring America and that Irish folk isn’t subject to the vagaries of fashion, the gap has done them no harm, although they might have considered a live album in the interim, if only for a cut of the flourishing bootleg market. Then again, Dublin-born frontman Dave King was able to record this album in his home town, which was probably reward enough.
Punk can be a relative term, especially when applied to California. In comparison to The Pogues, Flogging Molly sound more like The Nolans. In fact, the Saw Doctors are nearer the mark. But all their rousing expat energy, best heard on The Hand Of John L Sullivan, can’t disguise a controlled finesse.