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.(From bandsonfire.com)
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Disappointment| Posted August 17, 2010
I know Black Thorn is already released for a while, but a few days ago it was the first time I heard it on the radio in the Netherlands.
Since the first time i heard Flatfoot 56 playing I loved the band.
Songs like brotherhood and knuckles up turned me loose.
The reason I love Flatfoot 56 is because of the celtic influences.
The celtic influences that turn me loose.
In every album, from The rumble of 56 to Jungle of the midwest sea, you could hear those influences.
When I saw here on NewReleaseTuesday that they were going to release a new album; I was really looking forward to it.
On the day the album was released I visit the youtube site to hear all the tracks, but after listening for a long while it did really disappoint me.
There weren't much tracks with a mandolin or a bagpipe solo.
I think that was a little bit killing, because there are some nice tracks on it like son of shame, blackthorn, stampede and smoke blower, which features a nice bigpipe tune.
After all the more "celtic" albums Black Thorn is different.
Not that it's super bad or something, but it didn't turn me loose and that really sucked.
When I'm going to play soccer I always listen blood&sweat and knuckles up before the match.
I'm playing as right wing defender and if I listen to those songs; I'm playing like there's no tomorrow.
After all the fast beat albums, Black Thorn disappointed me.
Of all the tracks on the album only stampede, black thorn and smoke blower could be played on a concert.
The reason of that is that you can't do a wall of death or a pit when you hear a song like courage or way of the sun.
Things like the wall of death are essential things for a real flatfoot 56 concert.
So I hope their next CD will be more like what their previous albums.
I also hope that the disappointment from now will disappear when their next album will be released!
Very different...| Posted June 08, 2010
Ever heard of this band? Maybe? I listened to some of their earlier songs and was hooked! I mean, how many bands in the US make Christian Irish Punk Rock? The style itself is enough to make me a fan...
That said, does having a different sound mean good? Sometimes... Before this album, the vocalist was aggressive, the bagpipes were prominent, and the rhythm was always driving! But Black Thorn showed a different side of Flatfoot 56. The lead vocalist was seemingly trying to get a more mellow and melodic feel with his voice. Not a smart move, in my opinion, since he had an extremely rough sound perfect for the more upbeat, crazy, manly songs of the older albums.
On the other hand of that, the songs in Black Thorn weren't always total punk rock. They had some ballads thrown in which gave the album a good balance, but i would still argue that his vocals weren't the best for them.
They did switch singers at times (i think) and put a rougher voice in for the harder songs. Though the main guy could've handled it himself, the hard songs did sound good voice-wise...
Instrumentally, there was a lot more mandolin than before, less bagpipes, and, unfortunately, an accordion. Very upset about the accordion. And I did prefer more bagpipes, but some of you may not, so that could go either way. But the mandolin gave many of the songs a distinctly softer sound, almost combating the electric guitars. Not really a good thing in my mind... "Hourglass" was made into a Mexican fiesta song. Very bizarre for a Celtic band to do, but i think they succeeded.
Overall, i was disappointed by the changes. Flatfoot 56 is still a great band and there are several songs i liked. "Black Thorn", "Courage", "Born for This", "Smoke Blower", "Son of Shame", and "Shiny Eyes" were all worth buying. Fortunately, i got the album for $6 at Amazon and feel like it was worth it.
Overall, it was still a good album, but it could've been lots better!