Artist Of The Week - Anchor & Braille

It's been about three years since we've gotten an album from Anchor & Braille, the indie side project of Anberlin's Stephen Christian, but this week, on July 31st, the band's sophomore album will be released. The Quiet Life is a collection of haunting melodies and catchy percussion, certainly a maturation of sound since 2009's Felt. The Quiet Life is available now in stores and online through Tooth & Nail Records.


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Black Thorn

Artist: Flatfoot 56
Album: Black Thorn
Release Date: 3/30/10
Label: Old Shoe Records

Celtic punk rock is an interesting genre. Picture the likes of MxPx accompanied with mandolins and bagpipes and you get Flatfoot 56. They are not everyone's cup of tea, more of a band where you need to like the style specifically to enjoy the full sound. The lyrics and vocals are strong, but the music itself doesn't quite catch me.

Songs like the title track embrace the mandolin as a key part of the album, along with the gang vocals and chugging lyrics, where "Smoke Blower" utilizes the use of bagpipes to bring the strong Celtic sound of the Chicago natives' sound. Among the fast paced tracks come the acoustic ballad "Shiny Eyes" which is one of the strongest and slowest songs on the album.

Rating: 6/10 Something with Black Thorn from Celtic punk rockers Flatfoot 56 just didn't seem to click with me. They certainly have a strong punk sound but just not of my kind. Not the best album, but not the worst either. There are a batch of strong tracks, found in the likes of "Smoke Blower" and "Shiny Eyes."

  1. The Escape (Intro)
  2. Black Thorn
  3. Born For This
  4. Courage
  5. Smoke Blower
  6. The Hourglass
  7. Shiny Eyes
  8. We Grow Stronger
  9. Son of Shame
  10. Stampede
  11. You Won Me Over
  12. Way of the Sun
  13. Hot Head
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