Since the year 2000, FLATFOOT 56 have steadily unleashed a rollicking barrage of Celtic punk and folk-tinged hardcore from the South Side of Chicago to an international audience with intense and positive party-like energy. Coinciding with their 10-year anniversary, Flatfoot launched the release of their third label-backed studio effort, Black Thorn, on March 30, 2010.
Led by spirited front man Tobin Bawinkel (Vocals/Guitar), along with brothers Justin (Drums), and Kyle (Bass), and multi-instrumentalists Eric McMahon (Bagpipes/Guitar) and Brandon Good (Mandolin/Guitar), the band is fueled by a sense of camaraderie that directly translates to their die-hard fans and highly energetic live shows. "We really try to create a positive environment every time we play so people feel comfortable and can let loose. It's an experience that everyone is a part of," explains Tobin.
Produced by the Street Dogs’ Johnny Rioux, Black Thorn tightly packs the quartet's eclectic and driving musical charge into thirteen tracks that celebrate the pride of the working class and their Chicago roots. A collection of songs that delves into weighty thematic content, Tobin explains that the cohesive theme of Black Thorn is a fundamentally universal one. “Everyone goes through hardships, but you aren’t alone. Punk rock is about community and brotherhood. This record is our contribution to that.” As cathartic as it is ambitious, Black Thorn is an emphatic assault that remains vintage Flatfoot in its effortless combination of Celtic instrumentation and street corner punk rock. Bagpipes and mandolins remain just as vital as drums and guitars in defining Flatfoot’s sound.