A Best Fourth Release Nominee in the 2007 Awards
With the release of their fourth album, Flatfoot 56 diversified their style just a bit; enough to add more variety in some places and some sound upgrades in others.
“The Galley Slave (Intro)” is a quite cool intro. Lyrically, it’s from the historical point of view of a slave who is chained to the oars of a large pirate or slave ship and forced to row for the rest of his life. Musically it has a great rhythm and sound effects.
“Carry ‘Em Out” is slightly different musically, more of a modern Punk Rock sound (but with a Flatfoot 56 twist, of course ).
“Loaded Gun” is a short track, and it features this album’s first bagpipe appearance. Lyrically, it has “they say”/”we say” contrasts.
“City On A Hill” is even more familiar, yet upgraded well. It points out that you can’t keep going back and forth between the sides of an issue— you’ll eventually have to choose.
“Bright City” is slightly slower (a medium pace), and focuses on hope through dark surroundings.
“Hoity Toity” is a much more bouncy, humorous-yet-serious song; it’s dancy (or should we say jiggy? ), fun, and has a great message. In other words, it’s classic Flatfoot 56.
“Pay Me A Dollar” is a story-song about two different people— the first one works hard unselfishly, the second does just the opposite. It’s another lyrical study in contrasts.
“Chinatown Jail Break” begins with a muted intro, after which the music kicks in at full volume and starts to build. This is another familiar-yet-upgraded track.
“Warriors” uses a lyrical metaphor of cleaning up a terrible mess to honor and encourage everyone who, at any level, is striving to do the same in real life.
“Cain”, as you might guess, lyrically goes through the story of Cain. Musically it features a cool, dark organ (courtesy of Josiah Holland) and a really great, also-dark bass/guitar line unlike anything they’ve ever done before. After this it moves into straight-up, old-school Heavy Punk for the majority of the song, and then back to the great dark music for the final bridge.
“Ollie Ollie” is lyrically a kind of anthem. This one shows off bandmember Josh Robieson’s bagpipe prowess (which is somehow even better on this album) in the bridge near the end.
“Standing For Nothing” includes the age-old warning “(If you) stand for nothing, you’ll fall for anything”.
“Jungle Of The Midwest Sea” (featuring Emily Kilborn and Tony Duggins) is yet another track that is musically familiar, yet upgraded quite a bit. It’s also another story-song, this one about the at-that-time completely uninspected and unregulated workings of meat packing plants in the early 1900’s.
And the final track is “Same Ol’ Story”. It begins muted (as if it was an old tape being played), then goes up to full volume for the second verse onward. This track closes out the album with wonderful, heartfelt lyrics, some actual true singing (as opposed to their usual rough vocals), and rhythmic music.
In all, this is another great album from Flatfoot 56.