Hailing from one of punk rock’s most traditionally rooted cities, Chicago’s FLATFOOT 56 is the most recent addition to the Old Shoe Records family of artists. Coinciding with the band’s 10th year anniversary, Flatfoot 56 has announced that their Old Shoe Records debut Black Thorn, produced by the Street Dogs’ Johnny Rioux, will be released on St. Patrick’s Day, March 17th 2010. Founder of Old Shoe Records Josh Stolo discussed the merger. “Old Shoe bands always have a great work ethic and have something more to offer. Flatfoot’s music is anthemic and really crosses all divides. These guys live on the road and own every stage they play. It’s an honor to have them join our family.”
Led by spirited front man Tobin Bawinkel (Vocals/Guitar), along with brothers Justin (Drums), and Kyle (Bass), and multi-instrumentalist Eric McMahon (Bagpipes/Mandolin), FLATFOOT 56 is fueled by a sense of camaraderie that directly translates to their die-hard fans and highly energetic live shows.
The forthcoming new album, 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.
Already building momentum for 2010, Flatfoot 56 has been confirmed for a supporting run on this summer’s Vans Warped Tour. Starting July 11th and ending August 2nd, the run will include a hometown performance in Chicago that will prove momentous for the Windy City natives. In March, the band will celebrate the release of Black Thorn with release parties in multiple US cities and will travel to Austin, Texas during SXSW to headline the Old Shoe Records showcase alongside labelmates Far From Finished. Consistent with the band’s unequivocal work ethic, loads of tour dates are currently being mapped in support of the band’s Black Thorn release.
Celebrating a decade of punk rock with a purpose, Flatfoot 56 is a welcome addition to the Old Shoe Records family. Additionally, Black Thorn will be released by Stomp Records in Canada and I Hate People Records in Europe, and distributed by Big Mouth Japan in Japan.