• The Flatliners At Generation Records, NYC

    Way back in October the Flatliners played a Fat Wreck Chords in store at Generation Records in New York City with the Cobra Skulls and Smoke or Fire. The camera battery died before Smoke or Fire came on stage, but pictures were taken during the first two sets.

    So without further ado... a cut and paste for a review I previously wrote for their latest album, Cavalcade. And a few pictures from that in store performance.

    The Flatliners, who hail from Richmond Hill, Ontario just outside of Toronto, have been going steady for close to a decade now. Having formed and released their first demo in 2002, they put out their first album, Destroy To Create, on Union Label Group before signing with Fat Wreck Chords in 2007 and releasing The Great Awake, an album which brought them some well deserved attention. Cut to 2010 and the band has just finished a tour of Canada with label mates The Cobra Skulls (one of the best punk bands out there right now) in support of their new full length album, Calvalcade.

    The Flatliner’s are one of those ‘punk’ bands that don’t necessarily limit themselves to traditional three chord Ramones influenced punk or harder edged hardcore stuff but instead mix it up throwing in a heavy ska influence as well as elements from folk punk and good old fashioned rock and roll. Their latest album is definitely an evolution compared to The Great Awake, both lyrically and musically. This release allows the band – made up of Chris Cresswell on guitar and vocals, Scott Brigham on guitar, Jon Darbey on bass and Paul Ramirez on drums – to play around with their sound a bit and alternate between guitar driven tracks like the opening The Calming Collection to more aggressive and memorable numbers like Bleed, a fast and almost antagonistic song that’ll stick in your head and which is one of the stand out numbers on the CD. On He Was A Jazzman the band brings back the ska sound they’ve experimented with on a regular basis, while Monumental is a fairly straight ahead pop song.

    Cresswell’s vocal style isn’t slick or glossy but rather rough sounding and it lends itself well to the band’s up tempo sound. Cavalcade is a fairly eclectic album in terms of sound, influence and flow and his voice is a welcome constant that actually does a really good job of holding things together. There are moments where some of the songs sort of blend together and become indistinguishable but overall Cavalcade is a solid follow up to their first Fat release and is a pretty good starting point for those who are new to the band simply because without watering things down they’ve made a slightly more accessible and polished album than they did before.

    Fat’s CD is a nice package, and the disc includes a nice booklet of lyrics done up as an old fashioned leatherbound book that compliments the cover art really nicely. Stuff like that doesn’t matter to some but there are certainly lots of us out there who still appreciate things like cover art and inserts particularly when they’re done with the cool sort of style they’ve been done with here.

    For more information hit the Fat Wreck Chords website by clicking here or visit The Flatliner’s site by clicking here!