Flatfoot 56 – Toil

Flatfoot 56 – Toil

Paper+Plastick Records

Released July 24, 2012

Reviewed by Anthony Peronto

My reviewing has come full circle. Two years ago Tyler was looking for writers to help the site as it was growing so I submitted a review of Flatfoot 56’s Black Thorn. A hop, skip, and a jump away and here is Flatfoot’s newest album Toil, featuring the ever-present hopeful message of brotherhood and unity. But there are some changes these Celtic punk-rockers have made for their new record on Paper+Plastick Records.

Unlike their last album (excluding “Courage”) the theme of hardship and social consciousness is more present and similar to Jungle of the Midwest Sea. This is clearly evident in “The Rich, The Strong, and The Poor” and the title track with lyrics such as “From the dear old age of Adam/To the workers of Boaz/ Been doomed to heed this crazy song and it’s made me who I am/ From the steel workers in Pittsburgh/To the trucker and his load/They’re all feeding that old fat cat just hopin he’ll explode.”

Another change for the band is the lessening-intensity and a shift toward the melodic folksy sound that was only seen on several songs on their previous albums. From the mandolin/handclaps of the uplifting “I Believe It,” the accordion/bango of the fun “6”10,” and the updated hymn “I’ll Fly Away” which is made in the tradition of “Amazing Grace” from their 2004 album Knuckles Up. But don’t get the idea these guys softened one bit because most of the middle section of the album is good ol’ Celtic punk with a surprisingly awesome mandolin solo on “Terrorizing Truth.” That solo and the closing hymn makes up for the weakest songs on the bunch “This Time” and “Winter in Chicago,” the latter song only worth admiring if you’re a resident of the Windy City.

It’s been 12 years since Flatfoot 56 has been around and they’re still severely underrated. The boys from Chicago have made a great album that not only reaches back to their roots but expands their sound into an overall satsifying package. Do yourself a favor, watch the two video clips below from their Cornerstone performances, and consider picking up a copy of Toil.

The Wall of Death

The Alamo

Grade: 4.5


  1. Brother Brother
  2. The Rich, The Strong, and The Poor
  3. I Believe It
  4. Take Hold Again
  5. Toil
  6. Live or Die Trying
  7. Work For Them
  8. Terrorizing Truth
  9. Strong Man
  10. 6”10
  11. This Time
  12. Winter In Chicago
  13. I’ll Fly Away

About Anthony Peronto

Anthony Peronto lives in Eagle River, Alaska with his wife and daughter and is a reviewer who loves all genres but focuses on hip-hop and metal. He recently received an associates and is now studying for his bachelors in business administration with the hopes of opening a Christian music store. While he has an equal passion about movies, his favorites bands/artists include: Relient K, House of Heroes, The Classic Crime, Children 18:3, and Anberlin (Rock); Demon Hunter, Norma Jean, The Chariot, Showbread, and Oh, Sleeper (Metal); and Lecrae, Braille, theBreax, K-Drama, and Yaves (Hip-Hop). More Posts

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