Sometimes something comes along that is so bizarre, it demands attention. Such is the case with Flatfoot 56, a self-proclaimed Celtic punk band. No, seriously. Bagpipes, punishing guitar riffs, mandolins, crowd chants, a vocalist with an Irish accent… these guys are the real deal. They've been gaining a following since they started in 2000 (That's right…that's right, you've missed out on six years of Celtic punk), and have now signed to Flicker Records. Instead of a new recording, we're treated to what will be new to most of us anyway, in the form of a re-release of their independent album Knuckles Up.
Anyone who remembers the old school, nineties, punk glory days of Tooth & Nail and other such indie records labels will appreciate this throwback to a time when the term "Christian rock" was more cool and novel, and less cliché. It's fast, fun, and insanely catchy (Try not to start chanting "Break, break, break, break, breakin' the law" on the ever so inspired "Breakin' the Law").
As is to be expected on an album of this caliber and velocity, the depth just isn't there from a lyrical standpoint. But what Flatfoot 56 lacks in depth, they make up for in passion. These songs are rally cries, "Raise up the flag. Let them see. Our creed is a symbol for those who are free. We fight against evil. We fight against sin. Our battle's not outward. Our battle's within." It's the kind of stuff that in any other setting would sound corny, but, as this is a Celtic punk band, it works.
There's a very select group that will find delight in this truly unique piece of work, but you owe it to yourself to give these guys a chance. And if you can, catch them live, if only to better understand fully what these guys bring to the table. I don't really know how these guys could mature and grow musically, but I'm definitely not saying it can't be done. Knuckles Up is just crazy enough to get a thumbs up.- Review date: 7/18/06, written by Josh Taylor
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