Flogging Molly frontman Dave King can sing about souls and dreams and lassoing the moon without sounding sappy. It might be the Irish brogue working its magic, but most likely it’s just that he knows how to channel Neil Diamond and still sound like he’s about to get in a whiskey-soaked bar fight.
Flogging Molly’s newest album, Float
, has the same Irish punk flavor as previous recordings, but with a more diverse thread than we’ve seen before. Ghostly tatters of The Brit Invasion, ’90s garage rock and classic prog seep subtly from the album’s pores. “Man With No Country” casts hues of dark metal. “Between a Man and a Woman” employs the country bass line and shadowy depth of a great Johnny Cash song. But the title track is the album’s clincher. It begins with feverish guitar strumming and builds into the rocking sway of fiddle and upright bass. Here, King showcases his best lyrical quirkiness with the repetition of haunting lines like, “Dream! It’s all you can.” It captures the anxiety of trying to stay afloat in a world of hardship and perfectly skewers the sense of being lost at sea. It’s a brilliant album from each gritty anthem to each frothy jig.