Flatfoot 56: Knuckles Up

You may have heard of these guys already. If not, now is a great time to tune in. I swear I wasn’t going to do this, but I can’t help it! If you miss that early Dropkick Murphys sound, then “Knuckles Up” will probably make your day! That’s right, some top-notch sing-a-longs, a whole lotta street-punk, a little bagpipe, some mandolin…You get the picture. Let me also mention, Flatfoot Fifty-Six sound amazingly tight. It probably helps when 3 out of 4 of the band members are brothers.

Flatfoot 56 call the thriving metropolis of Chicago home, and are currently enjoying, and contributing to some of the great music currently coming out of the Big Windy right now. I must apologise, I’ve been holding on to this album for 8 or 9 months. (Misplaced during a move.) I’m sure they sound even better with almost another year under their belts. If you haven’t heard these guys yet, they have MP3’s up on their website: http://www.flatfoot56.com (And have songs up on the very addictive Myspace.com)

Here’s what I got from the website: Flatfoot 56 was formed during the summer of 2000 on the southwest side of Chicago as a three piece punk band.The brothers, (Tobin Justin and Kyle) started writing songs and putting a line up together in the fall of 2000 and by Christmas time of the same year they were playing their first show. In January of 2001 the band added the one man powerhouse of Josh Robieson to the line up and the band started working on including the bagpipes and a second guitar into its sound. With the addition of a new member, Flatfoot began to perfect their live show and build their fan base. In 2001 they recorded their first demo and the band got busy. In the summer of 2002 the band hit the studio once again to record their first full length album titled The Rumble of 56. This recording was done in Rockford IL. In a studio called the Noise Chamber. After the release of the rumble of 56, Flatfoot 56 was ready for the recording of their second album called Waves of War (2003). This second album saw great advances in the bands popularity. Flatfoot’s song That’s Ok saw some heavy radio play throughout radio stations across the mid-west. The band began headlining shows and even got a chance to play with some major acts in front of large crowds. Things seemed to pick up and the following year Flatfoot found themselves playing on a stage at cornerstone in front of an audience of over 700. It was at this show that the band released their latest album titled Knuckles up. This album has since been the bands best selling record and has shown no signs of letting up.

There’s a few rumors out there regarding them as a “Christian” punk band. Let me be the first one to say… “WHO THE FUCK CARES!” Sure there’s a lyric or two that mentions that topic, but is it going to stop you from enjoying the album? I should hope not. Any band that has influences that range from: The Pogues, The Real Mckenzies, The Street Dogs, The Proclaimers, The Business, Johnny Cash, Blitz, The Clash, Cock Sparrer are more than welcomed in my record player. I’m sure you’ll agree. 

August 2005

Review By: Barnacle Brian Gillespie 


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