I once spent hours in the Roísín Dubh pub in Galway City, Ireland, where grizzled lifers raised pints with hip college kids and the house band's drunken rendition of "Molly Malone" immediately followed an equally drunken take on Prince's "Sexy M.F." Flogging Molly's Irish punk-folk hybrid is reminiscent of that pub-friendly musical fusion. Unimaginative critics have christened Molly's sound "Celtic punk," but Dublin-born songwriter Dave King and his L.A.-based ensemble brew a musical stout that is far more intoxicating and sophisticated. "Tobacco" -- from the act's latest disc, Within a Mile of Home -- is a high-spirited reel about Irish slavery, complete with lilting accordion and wailing fiddle, while "Factory Girls" is a wistful country-Western duet with Lucinda Williams. Though King is old enough to have fathered some of his current punk peers, this four-time Warped Tour veteran and his crew can still whip crowds of any age into a whiskey-soaked frenzy.
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