Thursday, January 20, 2011

Flogging Molly, "Don't Shut 'em Down" (2011)

So Flogging Molly has a new single from their upcoming album. You can download it for free from their website. Woo. However, while I hate to be overly negative (or do I?--see how I created suspense there?), I have to say, "Don't Shut 'em Down" is pretty awful.

I'm a big fan of Molly's first three studio albums, and in particular the first one, Swagger. I recommend them unreservedly. Their fourth, Float, I never particularly got into. It was always just too monotonously heavy for me. It had its moments, though, and the first single, of the same name, was a pretty darn good song.

But this first single; my lord. I suppose it's kind of catchy in a sing-songy sort of way, but it's basically just limp. Very little energy. The lyrics attempt to be vaguely topical, about our poor economic conditions and general contemporary badness. It's not as risible as the Tossers' political opuses, but it's still pretty bad, with insights that don't get any more penetrating or poetic than "lately the twenty-first century's been crazy/It's a sign of the times." All delivered with very little noticeable passion or emotion of any kind. I think it's instructive to compare it to "Life in a Tenement Square" from Swagger--that song also laments economic decay, but with real feeling. It rocks, and the melancholy is intensely palpable. The fact that the lyrics don't suck helps, too. The contrast puts the new song's shortcomings in stark relief.

Anyway, let's hope this song is just an egregious but momentary lapse of taste, 'cause otherwise the album is just gonna be gruesome.


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