Shane McGowan would be proud: Irish-inflected punk is alive and kicking with booted feet. The latest heirs to the royal court currently led by the Dropkick Murphys and Flogging Molly are the members of Flatfoot 56, a quartet hailing from the Windy City.
Like any self-respecting Celtic rockers, they've got healthy dollops of mandolin and even bagpipes on their tunes. But instead of getting all tourist-trap cheeseball about it, Flatfoot 56's music packs a face-breaking whallop. Lead vocalist Tobin's slightly gruff, high-energy 'tude, as well as the music's charging, anthemic quality, definitely owes to the pub rock and street punk of bands like Cock Sparrer and the Business (which are both, of course, name-checked as influences on the band's MySpace page).
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Although the group self-released its first full-length album, The Rumble of 56, in 2002, things really got rolling with the second, Waves of War, in 2003. The standout track on that record was "That's Okay," a fist-pumping, yell-along ditty that garnered the band decent radio airplay around the Midwest. The third and most recent full-length, Jungle of the Midwest Sea, dropped last May on the Tennessee-based indie Flicker Records.