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01 May 2006

Since 2000, new Flicker Records band Flatfoot 56 has been playing its Irish punk rock in the Chicago area. Now the band of three brothers, Tobin, Justin and Kyle Bawinkel and friend Josh Robieson are ready to release their label debut Knuckles Up on June 27.

The brothers Bawinkel began jamming as a three-piece in 2000. Josh Robieson, doubling on bagpipe and guitar, brought the sound all together. It was then the name “Flatfoot 56” came into being, inspired by youngest brother Kyle, who wore number 56 on his baseball jersey and was teased for having flat feet. Flatfoot 56 released three independent records in less than five years, playing bars, colleges and church shows along the way. Fully embraced by the local scene, the band soon found itself among Cornerstone 2003’s biggest buzz bands, and in late 2005, signed with Flicker Records which will release the group’s third LP, Knuckles Up.

Guitars, drums, bagpipes and a mandolin fuel Flatfoot 56’s upfront energy, while Tobin, the primary songwriter for Flatfoot 56, uses a confrontational tone in the lyrics, addressing faith, friendship and the hard life that so many face in his city. Though much of the lyrical content is brutal in both honesty and imagery, the album is not without its lighter moments. The balance between sobering truth and humorous storytelling gives this record life beyond simple punk rock punch.

“We live among morally and spiritually bankrupt people who are in desperate need of something better,” says frontman Tobin. “Not that we are any different from them, or more special, other than that we have something special to live for. Christ hung out with common people, not just the Church. Flatfoot 56 is here to give people a completely different idea of what Christians are. We don’t preach at bars. We seek to make the audience have a great music experience while modeling a life of faith.”

Early reviews of the band and the record are enthusiastic. Chicago’s top alternative radio station, Q101, says:

?“Flatfoot 56 is the most aggressive Celtic-oriented punk band in the Chicago paddy punk rock scene. Mandolin and bagpipes accompanying loud…guitars… Flatfoot 56 has that street punk anthem sound with the angst and aggression that would make any punk rocker happy enough to throw their fists into the air to the rally call.

Reviewer Barnacle Brian Gillespie remarks:

“You may have heard of these guys already. If not, now is a great time to tune in…. That’s right, some top-notch sing-alongs, a whole lotta street-punk, a little bagpipe, some mandolin…you get the picture. …Flatfoot 56 sound amazingly tight. It probably helps when three out of four band members are brothers. There’s a few rumors out there regarding them as a “Christian” punk band…. Sure, there’s a lyric or two that mentions that topic, but is it going to stop you from enjoying the album? I should hope not.”

The band maintains a busy concert schedule leading up to its June release and will be appearing all over the country this summer. For upcoming dates in your area, visit: www.flatfoot56.com

Flicker Records is based in Franklin, Tenn. It exists to foster the development of new artists and their respective music careers and make really loud rock music. Flicker’s roster currently includes Pillar, Fireflight, nevertheless, eleventyseven, Kids in the Way, Flatfoot 56 and Until June. To find out about Flicker Records and its artists, go online to: www.flickerrecords.com.

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