FLATFOOT 56 - Black Thorn

Flatfoot 56 - Black Thorn

13 songs
37:26 minutes
***** ***
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Flatfoot 56 originate from Chicago, the biggest Irish community in the United States. Therefore it is not surprising that the band is toying with Celtic music and has been spicing the traditional sound with some punk and hardcore.

Black Thorn is the band’s fifth album, and already the opener proves that they are sounding more alive than the Pogues. Only Shiny Eyes has been kept more traditional, conjuring an image of green meadows teeming with sheep. Due to their somewhat harder manner, Flatfoot 56 don’t differ that much from Dropkick Murphys or The Real McKenzies. Whenever the wild Celts dig out their mandolins and bagpipes, it becomes really hard to keep sitting still. It speaks for the band that they have shed all shreds of decency, because their chosen genre can only take advantage of their rough attitude. The numerous gang shouts help underlining the hardcore affinities. I especially like their anthem Courage which reminds me a little of Social Distortion. Another highlight is the playful The Hourglass. Even though not every song can maintain that high level, you will not find a weak spot on the CD.

The wheel has certainly not been reinvented by Flatfoot 56, but then that was not their intention. The band just want to entertain with good songs that always get straight to the point, and this they all do. I am quite convinced that there is a strong correlation between entertainment value and inebriety, as is often and ideally the case with this kind of music.

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