Flatfoot 56 – Jungle Of The Midwest Sea
Release Date: May 15th, 2007
Record Label: Flicker Records
Punk is a funny sort of thing. Most of the punk bands in today's scene sound so similar and it's pretty hard to find the really, really good ones. I sometimes find myself wondering if I'll ever find a punk band I actually enjoy listening to.
Well, those days are over.
Flatfoot 56 is the exact type of punk band I like. They aren't over the top, they aren't too political, they're just right. The four rockers from Chicago aren't slowing down with their fourth release in five years, and their newest piece is no letdown. Jungle Of The Midwest Sea is a punk album with drive, forcing you to stomp your feet and bob your head to the beat. The one notable characteristic of this band is the bagpipes and mandolin. Not many bands utilize instruments like that, but Flatfoot 56 does it well.
"Carry 'Em Out" and "Chinatown Jail Break" are two of my favorite songs on the album. The former is a great tune about a true story told by the band of a night to remember, in which they kidnapped Josh Robieson on his birthday and attempted to scare him. The latter is a number about a man who envelopes himself in darkness in his lonely jail-cell and fails to see that he could have a much better life if he would just be a better person.
The band explores many different motifs in their work, including avarice, faithlessness, and cowardice through their songs. "Hoity Toity" is a song in which they display some of these themes. It's a piece that everyone should live by; being yourself and who you were born to be, rather than the person that others around you want you to be. Each song on the album has a specific message it would like to send to the listener, one no more important than the other.