Early reviews of Flogging Molly’s 2004 album Within a Mile of Home described it as having two doses of studio slickness for every dose of sweet Irish rage. The attention to engineering-level detail on the disc distilled the band’s sound, making it not angrier but better.
But the same fans foolish enough to find fault with Home will duly raise hell after listening to Float. If Home was a collection of anthems for a revolution that never came, Float is a series of dirges lamenting that lack. Float’s biggest deviation isn’t in the ratio of angry fight songs to sad drinking songs, but in the absence of contrast between them. Flogging Molly’s slowest burn to date, Float’s indignation is still there, but songs like “Man With No Country” and “No More Paddy’s Lament” trade in Molly’s angrier delivery for a softer, more melodic tone, while “Us of Lesser Gods” and “The Story So Far” evoke alt-country more than alt-punk. Float matures the Molly sound, freely mixing and matching themes without anything separating the furious from the forlorn.