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51orQmWMRnL. AA115 In a lot of ways, FLOGGING MOLLY is kind of like McDonalds. If that’s your thing, you know you like it, and what to expect. Sure, there’s new offerings every so often, and you try ’em out – but in the end, McDonalds is McDonalds. Maybe you like it and maybe you don’t, but there’s consistency. Once in awhile though, you get a surprise. What you were expecting to be the acceptable standard is really, really, good. Shockingly good, in fact. If you already like FLOGGING MOLLY, this is one of those moments.

SPEED OF DARKNESS is an album for our times, a portrait of America painted by the bleak tones of Detroit, Michigan. Fueled by the urban decay found rampant throughout the current home city of vocalist/songwriter Dave King and his wife and bandmate Bridget Regan, the record balances depression with optimism. In one of my past lives (late ’90’s) I spent a lot of time doing work in Detroit, and The Motor City was already well on it’s way to ROBOCOP territory. Don’t let those car commercials with EMINEM fool you – the city is worse now, and still goes largely ignored.

While the first single from the record Don’t Shut ‘Em Down was met with some mixed reaction among the internet talkbackers, it’s the perfect song to exemplify the two sides to the SPEED OF DARKNESS. It’s upbeat and catchy as hell, but with lyrics touching on everything from violence to the foreclosure crisis.Revolution follows a “working man without any work,” the victim of a plant closure; while This Present State of Grace gives praise to the Troops, mentions floods like those experienced throughout the south, and brings an uplifting message to live your life and raise Hell.

While an album can’t provide the solution to society’s ills, the music contained within can capture an important moment and that’s what SPEED OF DARKNESS accomplishes. After listening to this several times over the past week, I have to say that it makes you feel as if we’re on the cusp of change.

Rating: 4/5

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