Review: Flatfoot 56- Odd Boat

I remember talking with Tobin Bawinkel a few years ago about his new side-project- 6’10 and he wasn’t sure if Flatfoot 56 would be recording again because life had taken them all in new directions. He was hopeful, though, and so were all of the fans. Fast forward to 2017 and Flatfoot 56 is going strong again and back with a fire in Odd Boat- studio album number nine for the Chicago Celtic punk rockers. Seeing as how their last studio record was 2012’s Toil, its one heck of a return. The band took a different approach with Odd Boat, choosing to go through PledgeMusic to help with the record and they also brought in Conrad Ellsworth to take over drumming duties for Justin Bawinkel. After five years away, Flatfoot is as strong as ever- if not more. Musically, they’re heavier, more aggressive yet more evolved and matured after the break. This is also still the Flatfoot we’ve all come to know and love. Frontman Tobin Bawinkel’s raspy dominating voice is as noticeable as ever- tag teaming up with the anthemic instrumentals as perfect as ever, Brandon Good’s mandolin is even more charming and calming but can still get you moshing and moving, Kyle Bawinkel’s bass is still as grooving and move-inducing and Eric McMahon’s bagpipes are just as amazing as always. “Ty Cobb,” “Stutter” and “Curtains” are three of the strongest tracks on the record, fitting right in with Flatfoot classics and show that they can still get aggressive when they need to but they can also slow things down at just the right time- this is proven with the title track- “Odd Boat,” which is a traditional-style Irish anthem. Matching this are “KPM” and closer “A Voice,” which will be stuck in your head pretty quickly. Whether you’re just discovering Flatfoot 56 or whether you’ve been a fan since Rumble of 56, this is one has something for you. The world just wasn’t the same with Flatfoot 56 out of the picture and now that they’re back again, grab Odd Boat, crank it up to max and enjoy. When it’s all said and done, this one will stand right up there with early Flatfoot albums for ages to come. Rating: 9/10 -Reggie Edwards