The Chicago-based Celtic punk-rockers recorded Toil in Matt Allison’s Atlas Studios, working with producer Johnny Rioux of the Street Dogs in January and February. They emerged from recording sessions with 13 new songs for the album, and the tracklisting can be seen below. “[Johnny] knows how to challenge us and push us to the next level, which is what any band hopes for,” says frontman Tobin Bawinkel (vocals/guitar) of the band’s decision to work with Rioux again.
The choice of producer was a big one this time, as Flatfoot 56 wrote a record that Bawinkel says takes on a “much more mature, heartfelt tone.” Rioux produced 2010’s critically acclaimed Black Thorn as well, so the band felt comfortable working with him again. “We still love whipping the crowd into a frenzy and making everybody dance,” says Bawinkel, “but we wrote some tunes that people can relate to, and that they can sing along to.”
Bawinkel and the rest of Flatfoot 56 – his brothers, Justin (drums) and Kyle (bass), Eric McMahon (bagpipes/guitar) and Brandon Good (mandolin/guitar) – may have suggested that Toilwould be less raucous than previous albums, but the band’s well-noted hardcore-tinged sound is still present. “Brother, Brother” starts fast and never slows down, a blisteringly paced barnburner of an opening track, carried by McMahon’s bagpipes, aggressive yells, dirty guitars and a huge chorus. Meanwhile, other tracks like future first single “I Believe It” showcase a more rootsy, folk-oriented side of the band. Gang vocals and pounding drums allow Flatfoot 56 to retain its signature sound.
Teaming up with Paper + Plastick for Toil was a natural match in the eyes of the band. “They always seem to promote the creative side of the album,” Bawinkel said. “As a band we all really value that creative vision, and Paper + Plastick is the place to be for that.”
Toil is the band’s follow-up to 2010’s wildly successful Black Thorn, which notched the band a spot on nine Billboard charts.
July 24, 2012
Paper + Plastick Records
HQ art link
1. Brother, Brother
2. The Rich, The Strong and The Poor
3. I Believe It
4. Take Hold Again
6. Live Or Die Trying
7. Work For Them
8. Terrorizing Truth
11. This Time
12. Winter In Chicago
13. I’ll Fly Away
Toil will be released in 2012 by Paper + Plastick in the United States, Stomp Records in Canada, and People Like You Records in Europe.