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Packed full of punches, The Flatliners have recently released what appears to be the most true to form punk album I’ve heard in a long time. There really aren’t many words for Cavalcade (The Flatliners third full length) other than “Wow!”
These days, it seems like most “punk rock” bands are trying harder and harder to adapt to the changing of times, and with this, lose a fair amount of musical integrity and honesty. It’d be funny to be a fly on the wall in the studio for these bands, just to hear the words “Well, (insert popular band here) are putting synths in their choruses, why don’t we?” It is terribly upsetting to go to a punk show these days and see veteran punkers changing their look and sound to fit in with the younger crowd.
Luckily, there is The Flatliners. They don’t candy coat there sound, or hide behind any sort of post-production reverb. In your face and abrasive, The Flatliners delve deep into their roots, and revive what we all like to call “punk f’ing rock.” Cavalcade sees these youngsters getting down and dirty. There is a seriousness in their sound that makes their dedication to music and their scene evident.
With songs like Bleed and Here Comes Treble, The Flatliners have brought back the PUnch in Punk. Fat and chunky guitar tones complete with rambunctious, throaty vocals. The songs found on Cavalcade are furiously fast, yet don’t get caught in the wind by this lead footed-ness. The Flatliners do a nice job of keeping everything contained in their V-12 gas guzzling speed machine. By track 5, The Flatliners know it is time for a break, and what better way to relax than a nice reggae themed jam? He Was A Jazzman could be found in both a sweaty VFW hall, or on the back porch of a Jamaican Zionist. While containing all the nice upstrokes made famous by The Wailers, there is also a linear progression towards heaviness, until finally near the end of the song, everything explodes back to true rock and roll. The 170 MPH ride starts right back up with Shithawks, and that’s when you realize there is no way to stop The Flatliners.
A lot of reviews like to say Cavalcade drops off in the second half. This couldn’t be less true. Yes, things maybe slow down a bit, but not to this complete drop off people like to make you believe. All that happens is The Flatliners have a little bit more of a generic punk sound. Filthy Habits is no less amazing than The Calming Collection, it is just a little more refined, a little more old school, and just slightly more 1,3,5 chord. I’ll give it to you, Count Your Bruises is slightly cheesy and poppy, but its fine, aged French cheese. Still cheese, but cheese you’d find in a gourmet punk store, rather than a bubblegum pop-rock candy shop.
The Flatliners have done it again. Don’t say the scene is dying until you’ve listened to Cavalacade.