A few years ago I found myself actively starting to dislike the crop of Oirish punk bands doing the rounds.
Even the bands that I had previously liked started to sound slightly different to me.
In hindsight I think that to my ears they had went from playing celtic tinged punk rock to looking to see how they could profit from edging in on the Pogues fan base.
It was a very slight move, and one that others would vehemently disagree actually exists at all.
There was also the problem of sectarianism that is prevalent where I live and I guess that also had an impact on how I viewed the bands.
These Oirish bands are treated differently on the west coast of Scotland and unless you come from here then it probably doesn't make much sense.
Hell, even if you come from here it doesn't make much sense.
The Dropkick Murphys are a good example.
I used to go and see them on all their early tours, and the crowds were made up of a good cross section of punks and skins.
Then the tricolours and republicanism angle started to slip in and the balance tipped and the gigs were no longer the drunkenly ramshackle events that I used to love. The became less celebratory and more darker.
I guess I just don't like to shell out hard earned cash to have some drunken idiot slaver ill educated shite in my ear about the famine and the glory of the 'Ra all night.
It's not even that I feel that the Irish have nothing to complain about, and if push came to shove I would even say that I support the original premise of Irish Independence, but regardless of that I'm not interested in listening to people whose opinions aren't based in historical facts, but instead are steeped in the support of a football team.
Or worse based on three generations ago having an uncle who once holidayed in Limerick.
Add on the tenuous link of bands for the US singing about the 'Ol' Country' and it just came across as a bit of a US celebration of an Irish version of Brigadoon.
Utter bollocks in other words.
Unfortunately Flogging Molly are a band that suffered from my change of views, and in the last five or six years I've just skimmed past what they have done.
I've made no effort to see them or even buy anything that they have released.
So here I am now listening to 'Speed of Darkness' and trying to wrap my head around it.
Do I like it, or has my less than positive experiences of this genre going to shade my view?
The honest answer is that I'm not sure.
They were always a band that had the chops to carry whatever sound the wanted to the audience, and the multiple vocals give them a broader ability to deliver whatever it was they wanted to do.
Musically it's pretty much faultless.
So as it plays in the background I find myself tapping my toe along with the new songs, but I'm still not digging too deep into it.
The lyrical content is still eluding me, and that's important for me.
I want to hear what the message is, if there even is one, before I commit myself.
Right at this moment the message isn't becoming apparent just now, and without my getting a sense of where they are coming from I'm finding myself questioning my enjoyment.
It's a shame.
I'm a product of my environment and instead of falling to one, or the other side of the sectarian divide I instead find myself shying away from it all because in my opinion it is all rank pish rooted in a great deal of ignorance.
Hateful ignorance that has an effect on virtually everyone that lives on this coast, and because of this I struggle with bands who seem to promote one view or another, or even romanticize historical events while claiming they are carrying on a folk tradition.
I view it all with suspicion.
So there you go.
Less of a review and more of a non review and my reasons for struggling in not providing anything that could be construed as one.
Maybe I'll keep spinning this album and come back to it.. Then again maybe I'll not.