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Flogging Molly
WITHIN A MILE OF HOME
(SideOneDummy)

Although there have been more attempts than you might guess at first blush (think of songs by New Jerseyís Ted Leo and Bostonís Irish-punk kings Dropkick Murphys), so far, no act has combined the soul-lifting swoon and blue-collar crunch of punk rock and traditional Celtic music as magically as the Pogues did in "Fairytale of New York," the woozy Big Apple ballad frontman Shane MacGowan narrates from the "drunk tank" on Christmas Eve. Flogging Molly get close in "Factory Girls," a lived-in duet between singer Dave King and alt-country queen Lucinda Williams thatís the highlight of the LA septetís third album (in stores October 26). Over a hearty bass-and-drums groove decorated with tin whistle and accordion, the two harmonize raggedly in tribute to "a chorus of factory girls singiní in the streets, drinkiní their Coca-Colas after washing your filthy sheets." Like the Pogues, Flogging Molly wrest triumph from struggle, beauty from coarseness. Unlike the Pogues, on the rest of the CDís tracks (which are about demons, rebels, lovers, and fighters), King and his band mates donít sound as if theyíd just put away a dozen pints each. No other group with designated mandolin and uilleann-pipes players rock with this much conviction.

(Flogging Molly perform with Street Dogs and the Briggs this Friday, October 1, at Avalon, 15 Lansdowne Street in Boston; call 617-228-6000.)

BY MIKAEL WOOD


Issue Date: October 1 - 7, 2004
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