The newest release from Flatfoot 56, Black Thorn, is uproariously fun and enjoyable. I have listened to this band on and off for a number of years now and I always find myself drawn back by the almost contagious energy and fun. The out of the ordinary combination of bagpipes, distorted guitars and punk vocals make this unlike almost anything else you might have heard. Of course, this has become their trademark sound now and after more than 8 years in the business, they do it well. Really, Black Thorn is a strange juxtaposition of instruments and genres that works quite well.

The disc begins with a sort of instrumental opener/intro and as it progresses it just seems to get better and better. All the elements of a punk record are included here; lots of catchy gang vocals and choruses that will make you want to pump your fist in the air in reckless abandon. The overall disc has a sort of pub feel to it. It’s easy to imagine a bar full of beer drinking patrons waving their mugs in the air to these tunes, beer spilling out all over the floor and each other as they do so.

This is definitely not your typical punk record, but it’s very much along the lines of what we have come to expect from Flatfoot 56. I really could not single out one tune that I would say is a personal favourite – they all seem to work well and they work well in order. This is really a complete album and not a collection of a few singles for the radio that will die out in a few weeks.

Bottom line, I can see myself revisiting Black Thorn on an occasional basis. While it does not make any big and bold statements, it’s a solid punk release with a bit of a twist. I feel this is a decent disc and one that at the very least deserves a listen.

Black Thorn Track Listing:

01. The Escape (Intro)
02. Black thorn
03. Born For This
04. Courage
05. Smoke Blower
06. The Hourglass
07. Shiny Eyes
08. We Grow Stronger
09. Son Of Shame
10. Stampede
11. You Won Me Over
12. Way Of The Son
13. Hot Head

Run Time: 37:00
Release Date: March 16, 2010