Between two worlds

Flogging Molly encapsulates the diaspora dilemma

Claire Joseph

When “home” can be found in two different places, one’s understanding of life will acquire a greater depth.

Last week Flogging Molly’s third studio album, “Within a Mile of Home,” was released. The album’s title causes listeners to wonder exactly where Flogging Molly’s home is.

Dave King, the lead singer and songwriter of Flogging Molly, is at home in his birthplace, Dublin, Ireland, and in his band of seven’s birthplace, Los Angeles.

With his dual influences of traditional Irish music and U.S. punk rock, King, along with the six other members of Flogging Molly, are able to unite the unusually matched sounds of an acoustic guitar, banjo, bodhran, spoons, fiddle, tin whistle, uilleann bagpipes, electric guitar, accordion, concertina, bass, mandolin, bazouki, mandola and drums to create an Irish punk-rock sound. The band can be compared to the Dropkick Murphys and the Pogues.

A distinctive sound is not the only positive consequence of Flogging Molly’s two homelands. In the songs, “To Youth (My Sweet Roisin Dubh)” and “Screaming at the Wailing Wall,” King utilizes his gift of dual perspectives and sings about the political problems he sees lingering in both Ireland and the United States.

The songs “Seven Deadly Sins” and “Tobacco Island” offer listeners the up-beat, jigging-in-the-mosh-pit type of music they expect and love, while “Factory Girls” surprises listeners with a guest singer, folk rocker Lucinda Williams.

Although “home” for Flogging Molly is in two very separate lands, this dual allegiance allows the band to create a sound that is theirs and theirs alone and use it to always be within a mile of home.