The video, which certainly seems to feature Dan Hedaya (the litigator Dad from Clueless) as a crowd-favorite karaoke star, rocking out with a parade of regular folks taking their turns at the mic. If it ain’t him, don’t sue me. I love Clueless.
Search Results for "The Flatliners"
Tuesday, July 18, 2017 at 10:33 AM (PST) by jaystone
If you’ve read any of the online comment sections surrounding the release of Inviting Light, the latest full-length from The Flatliners, you’re no doubt aware that critics of the band feel they lost a couple miles (or is it kilometers?) per hour off their collective fastball. Let this be yet another lesson to you as to why it is never, ever a good idea to read the comments; let it be known that The Flats still slay.
As the northeastern US leg of their Inviting Light tour wound down, the band found themselves headlining a sold-out Sunday night show at the legendary Middle East nightclub in Cambridge, Massachusetts. The band kicked off their hour-plus set with “Mammals,” the slow burning lead track from Inviting Light, and seemed to have the capacity crowd hooked from the first notes. I’m not entirely certain if the band finds that reassuring, but I know that I do personally, given the amount of love I have for Inviting Light and the prevailing chatter about the band’s first non-Fat Wreck release in a decade. The quarters at upstairs at the Middle East are cramped and hot and sweaty when the venue is sold out, but the crowd was in high-energy motion by the time the crescendo built to the first chorus in “Mammals,” resulting in the first stage dive attempt of the night (albeit not an overly successful one).
The band tore through a seventeen-song main set that was pretty equally representative of their recent catalog, with four or five songs each from Inviting Light and it’s two immediate predecessors (2010’s Cavalcade and 2013’s Dead Language), though the two song encore consisting of “He Was A Jazzman” and “Shithawks” ultimately tipped the scales in Cavalcade‘s favor. Frontman Chris Cresswell’s voice sounds just as snarly and aggressive as ever when he wants it to, though he’s really pushed himself as a singer in more recent years. A lot of times in the live show of a rather dynamic band, you’ll find the bass player locked in to his spot at the drummer’s side allowing whoever is singing or playing guitar (or both) to roam and wander, both literally and musically. That’s not the case in The Flatliners, as the rhythm section of Paul Ramirez (drums) and Jon Darbey (bass) exhibit little in the way of interplay on stage yet remain more musically locked in the vast majority of their counterparts, making it look both infectiously fun and frustratingly easy in the process. Cresswell and lead guitarist Scott Brigham have grown immensely as guitar players over the years as their sonic palettes have expanded, and they too seem to bounce off each other in effortless, symbiotic ways. Much has been made of this being the year that not only do all the band’s members turn thirty (which boggles the mind) but the year that the band itself turns fifteen (which causes the mind to explode, Scanners-style), giving the band a well-earned reputation as valiant road warriors. If Sunday’s show — and specifically the crowd reaction — at the Middle East was any indication, they may actually just be hitting their stride now, which is a pretty inspiring thing.
Direct support on this entire tour was provided by Pkew Pkew Pkew and Red City Radio‘s Garrett Dale, the latter doing the solo troubadour thing. We’ve been big fans of the four handsome Torontonian Pkew fellas since their self-titled debut album was initially released a year ago on Royal Mountain Records a year ago, so news not only of their spot opening for the Flatliners but the more recent announcement of their having signed with SideOneDummy Records has made for pretty exciting times. The band’s live show is just as fun and high energy and handsome (did we mention handsome?) as their album is, and even though a lot of the songs might be straight-forward jams about hanging out and drinking beers, don’t let that fool you; these dudes can really, seriously play. There’s a camaraderie between not only the individual band’s members but really between all the members of this two-week East Coast jaunt, with the Flats, Pkew Pkew Pkew and Garrett Dale making frequent references to the good times they’ve been having on this trip. Dale is another classic example of not letting the occasionally straight-forward nature of the songwriting fool you; in the solo format, he’s got a gravelly voice that is full of the kind of heartbreaking soul guys like Chuck Ragan and Tom Waits have made their hallmarks, and it forces you to take notice whether he’s singing about lost love or seeing a dead body or, well, the devil’s weed.
Local support on this show came by way of Dan Webb and The Spiders. DWaTS are one of those local bands that I’m sure most scenes might have that really should be bigger than they are. The four-piece rock-and-roll band plays hard and fast, a not-quite-punk-rock but also not-quite-90’s-alternative vibe that cuts across genres and makes them a perfect fit on a fairly wide range of bills, especially on one as varied as this particular show. One of these days, DWaTS…one of these days…
Check out our full photo gallery below. While you’re at it, the Flatties recently announced a set of West Coast tour dates around the US and Canada. They will be accompanied by The Smith Street Band, up until It’s Not Dead Fest. They are also adding a few dates to the end of July, in Canada, supporting Sum 41. Check out all the dates here.
Thursday, July 13, 2017 at 3:28 PM (PST) by gunnar
Toronto’s Flatliners recently announced a set of West Coast tour dates around the US and Canada. They will be accompanied by The Smith Street Band, up until It’s Not Dead Fest. They are also adding a few dates to the end of July, in Canada, supporting Sum 41.
Check out all the dates below.
The Flatliners put out their last album, Inviting Light, back on April 7th of this year via Rise Records.
Tuesday, July 11, 2017 at 11:00 AM (PST) by jaystone
Following on the heels of the widely-accepted shitstorm that was 2016, you most certainly don’t need a punk rock news website to break to you the fact that 2017 has been a bit of a weird year. In many ways, both nationally and globally, there seem to be a lot of previously uncharted waters being navigated socially, politically, environmentally, and on and on and on. Yet just because waters are uncharted doesn’t mean that they have to be inherently bad. Enter The Flatliners. Weird though it might be, the calendar turning to 2017 kicked off a series of fairly important milestones in the history of the long-running Canadian punk rock quartet. All four members turn thirty this year. The band itself turns fifteen, and their highly-regarded Fat Wreck Chords debut, The Great Awake, turns ten.
2017 also marked the release of the band’s fifth full-length album, Inviting Light, which as you’re probably well-enough aware by now, marks a bit of a departure for a couple noteworthy reasons: while it still contains its fair share of snarling, aggressive moments, is easily the most anthemic “rock-and-roll” album in the band’s catalog. IT also marks their first album on a new label, Rise Records, after a decade on pioneering punk rock label Fat Wreck Chords.
Dying Scene chatted over the phone with Flatliners frontman Chris Cresswell just before the band left for their current eastern US tour with new SideOneDummy signee Pkew Pkew Pkew and Red City Radio‘s Garrett Dale. Cresswell is honest and engaging, even over the telephone; his frequently digressing rapid fire delivery could fool one into believing he comes from Boston Irish stock (were it not for the fact that he’s charming and humble and self-aware and so obviously Canadian). Cresswell and his Flatliners brothers are very aware that this is a big year for them, and they’re very aware of what some of the grumblings on the message boards and comment sections of the internet might opine about their band’s recent direction. They also come across as okay with all of it. “I’m always curious what people think when we put something new out, for sure, and sometimes that’s difficult,” says Cresswell. He’s also well aware that, while paying attention to some of the critics is okay, there has to be a bit of a balance. “You can’t get caught up in what other people think, because if that were the case, bands would make the same record over and over again. Filmmakers would make the same movie over and over again. The arts would suffer if you always listened to your critics. It’s not a great idea to shut them out either, because it is nice to have that push to always be better no matter what you’re doing in life.”
Due in part to the landmark nature of this particular year within the band, Cresswell and company (the band’s lineup of Scott Brigham on lead guitar, Jon Darbey on bass and Paul Ramirez on drums remains unchanged for the duration) figured it was as good a time as any to mix things up. “You do the same thing for fifteen years as a band, and ten years with the same label, even if it’s all good, there’s a part of you that wonders if there’s something else you could try,” says Cresswell. He’s more than aware of how the move from Fat to Rise Records might look, particularly as Inviting Light has a bit of a different sound. None of those rumblings are true. This is 2017; it’s not about money, it’s not about their old label declining to put it out or their new label influencing their sound. It’s really just about branching out as a band. “When you grow up on fucking Fat Wreck Chords bands and then you become one and you are one for ten years and you reach a level of personal success and fulfillment that you never dreamed to be a reachable or realistic at all, it kind of inspires you to be like “this is cool…what do we do now?” and that kind of thing.”
The band had fun — a lot of it — recording Inviting Light, and in spite of the extended space between albums (their last full length, Dead Language, was released four years ago) they actually recorded it fairly quickly, albeit in two separate chunks a year apart. Where Dead Language was recorded live in studio using only the band’s road gear, the Inviting Light sessions saw the band change things up in that avenue too. Drums and bass were still recorded live because, well, because that’s how Jon and Paul seem to groove the best. They initially “played everything live but we just kept the bass and drums, and when Paul and Jon lock up, it’s insane. It’s incredible. In the two sessions we did which were essentially a year apart, they did twenty songs in like four days!” When it came time to record guitars and vocals, however Cresswell and Brigham holed up in a new studio with new producers Peter Pablo and Derek Hoffman and got experimental, playing with tones and textures until dialing working sounds in and ripping through final takes.
The result, as you know by now, is different; more major chords, more melodic, more straight-forward, a little more dare-we-say optimistic, especially when compared to Dead Language. As you might imagine, there’s a reason for that. Says Cresswell: “Before this record, I was in a pretty shit place. If you listened to or read any of the lyrics to Dead Language, it’s pretty fucking bleak, and that’s why that record is so angry and has such heavy elements to it. I was going through a heavy time on a personal level. Nothing dangerous, but I was having a really hard time being away all the time.“
Lyrically speaking, Cresswell has tended to paint a bit of an admittedly bleak picture. Even as a native of the Toronto area, living as a socially-aware human in the wake of last year’s US Presidential election has been bleak in-and-of itself. “There’s a lot of evil in the world, especially with what’s happened over the last couple years on a global scale.” We’ve all seen the think-pieces on how the age of Trump will at least inspire some good, angry punk rock, and we’ve already started to see aggressive, confrontational “punk” rock albums come out and tackle those issues head on. Though this may be counter-intuitive to a stereotypical punk rock ethic, maybe there are ways to attack the issue that are less in-your-face. Cresswell offers that maybe his band’s way of trying to focus on the light at the end of the tunnel — hence Inviting Light — can help some people through a bullshit time, though he acknowledges with a self-deprecating laugh how “super fucking noble” that concept sounds. “If you can be, even to a small population of people, somebody who can help them through a tough time, that’s sick! That’s what music did for me when I was a kid and it still does it for me today!“
Reflecting on being away for weeks or months at a time has been an ongoing thing as Cresswell and the Flatliners round the corner on 30 years old, particularly when you’re as inward thinking as the frontman is. Any potential ego trips are balanced — and probably eliminated — by what Cresswell calls a “rabbit hole of a self-imposed guilt trip that’s usually at play in a lot of folks who tour a lot because it is a pretty self-serving thing that we do!” The older the band gets, the older their respective family members and close friendships get, meaning additional priorities and perspectives become factored into the increasingly difficult equation. Still, especially in the punk world, the pull of the road doesn’t go away just because you’re no longer in your twenties. “There’s this insatiable desire in us to just hit the road. For instance, if you play Chicago and no one fucking comes, you’re going to go back like three months later and play there again. Punk bands are the only bands that will keep going back and playing even if no one fucking comes out, because it’s just about the experiences of the road, and being away, and the story and just fucking living in a van for real!“
While the runs might get a little shorter or more spread out, hitting the road is still very much what this whole thing is about for Cresswell and The Flatliners. So far, 2017 has seen the band already complete tours of Canada with bands like The Dirty Nil and, of course, Weezer, and Europe with their longtime buds in The Menzingers. The aforementioned tour with Pkew Pkew Pkew and Garrett Dale showcases just how varied the bands that fall under the umbrella of punk rock have become, in an inspiring way. Changes in the music industry landscape have equated to differing changes, and like many of us, Cresswell knows that when it comes to one band’s sound or one person’s musical interests, “your brain musically doesn’t have to stay in one lane. You can be into whatever you want to be into. I know today there’s a lot of pressure and social anxiety is through the roof and there’s a reason for it. Day to day, it can be a tough world to live in for a lot of people, you know? But where you should be able to find solitude is in the music you’re into if you’re a music fan. You shouldn’t have to worry about what other people think.”
Check out our full conversation below. There’s a lot of other ground covered, particularly surrounding the band’s decision to leave Fat Wreck Chords – and the yearlong process of actually leaving: “It felt like a break-up, man. It was so sad… I’m just happy that we were able to go about it in a way that everybody is still friends. There’s no bad blood fucking whatsoever.” Check out all of the Flatliners upcoming tour dates here.
Friday, May 19, 2017 at 11:51 AM (PST) by villagebrown
Toronto’s The Flatliners recently announced a set of East Coast tour dates around the US. They will be accompanied by fellow Toronto punks PKEW PKEW PKEW and Oklahoma City’s Garret Dale (Red City Radio). The tour will begin in Buffalo NY on July 7th and will come to its end in Philadelphia, PA on July 17th.
You can view a full list of dates and locations below.
Friday, April 21, 2017 at 4:52 PM (PST) by Screeching Bottlerocket
Friday, April 21, 2017 at 10:49 AM (PST) by Paul Carr
The Flatliners are the definition of resolve and endurance. After making a splash with their ska-infused debut, 2005’s Destroy to Create, they have steadily honed their craft over 5 subsequent albums with their most recent being 2013’s Dead Language (discounting 2015’s B-sides collection Division of Spoils). Through constant touring and their unwavering adherence to a steadfast punk-rock ethos the band have created a solid fanbase that appreciate their dedicated, no-nonsense approach and unrelenting spirit. However a band cannot run on enthusiasm alone. After spending most of their adult lives touring and promoting, the band quickly came to the realization that they needed a break. Some time away to recapture that spark that made them an enduring punk band of the people.
It soon becomes apparent that that time away has been spent polishing the simple craft of writing tight arena ready rockers. Clearly evident on first song, “Mammals” which, after a brooding opening, states its intentions defiantly as it quickly darts to a razor sharp, buzzing chorus. It contains the bright and spiky pop-punk style they are know for but with a distinct edge, reminiscent of mid-period Against Me!. “Hang My Head” sees the band continue to strike that perfect balance between their poppy and caustic sides. The guitars ring rather than churn with the song quickly bounding to a delirious, anthemic chorus. It sounds supremely confident with the sturt and the swagger of a band who have full faith in what they are doing. “Nicotine Lips” sounds like a carry over from Dead Language, featuring energetic distorted power chords and catchy shout-a-long ‘woahs-woahs’. In the context of the album it provides the connective tissue between this and and their previous work. Nevertheless, it is striking how different the overall sound is on Inviting Light from what the band are known for.
The choppier, heavier songs that made up many of 2010’s Cavalcade’s finest moments are largely absent. Instead, the album is characterised by a fuller, broader sound with the focus on songcraft rather than the foot down, pop-punk that saw them draw comparisons with Dead To Me and Anti-Flag. For example, “Indoors,” rather surprisingly, finds them build a song on similar foundations to those of grunge stalwarts Pearl Jam. It’s a mid-tempo rocker assembled with spacious, echoing riffs and hefty 90s power chords before beating down the door to a yearning, powerful chorus. It’s here that frontman, Chris Cresswell, is really able to demonstrate how his voice has developed into a potent and commanding force whilst retaining that slightly bruised, insecure edge. Those Pearl Jam comparisons continue with “Unconditional Love” with the band channeling the Seattle band’s love of slightly more unorthodox and off-beat arrangements. It sees the band challenging their sound a little, showing a previously unheard experimental side. On the whole, these moments provide the triumphant backbone of the album.
Although, these moments do show the band developing their sound, they still fit the mould of mid-paced rockers, aimed squarely at the heart. While effective, at times they are in danger of feeling a little repetitive and formulaic as strummed guitars quickly lead to another big, rousing chorus. Songs such as “Burn Out Again,” “Infinite Wisdom,” and closer “No Roads” all follow a similarly worn blueprint. They lack the vitality of songs from their back catalogue, too often feeling like the safe option. Remarkably, it is the plaintive, tender punk ballad “Chameleon Skin,” which sees the band wholly succeed in finding a new formula. Cresswell’s wistful cries of “I don’t wanna remember who I am” are a stirring addition that will touch the heart of even the most hardened punk.
While Inviting Light is not a seismic shift, there is an obvious progression from their melodic pop-punk sound. It’s still loud and proud but it sees the band enter a more mature phase of their career. The sound is clearer and more accessible than any of their previous work with the abrasive edges polished down. Everything is carefully constructed with each song crafted to highlight the band’s ability to write hungry, anthemic choruses. However, the over reliance on mid-tempo rockers can get a little wearing. All in all Inviting Light is a testament to taking a step back and re-engaging with what you want from your band. It sees the band entering a new phase of their careers whilst ably demonstrating that they are in it for the long haul.
3.5 / 5 Stars
Friday, April 7, 2017 at 4:15 PM (PST) by Screeching Bottlerocket
Thursday, March 23, 2017 at 2:18 PM (PST) by NobodyLikesGreg
Canadian punks The Flatliners premiered their new song ‘Indoors’ today. The track appears on the band’s upcoming sixth studio LP, “Inviting Light”, out April 7 on Rise Records. The album is already up for pre-order here.
The band is heading out for some North American tour dates with LA rock veterans Weezer and some European dates with The Menzingers and The Dirty Nil later this month. You can find ‘Indoors’ and full tour dates below.
Thursday, March 23, 2017 at 1:37 PM (PST) by NobodyLikesGreg
Absolute lookers The Menzingers premiered a new video for their song ‘After The Party’. It’s of course the title track from the bands’ latest album (which we absolutely loved). Head down below to watch the video.
The Menzingers are currently on tour in the States in support of After the Party, with Jeff Rosenstock and Rozwell Kid. They’ll be heading out to Europe and UK with The Flatliners and The Dirty Nil later this spring.
Friday, March 17, 2017 at 3:33 PM (PST) by Screeching Bottlerocket
A new, five track benefit compilation has been released by Uncle M Music in Germany, in aid of Sea Shepherd. The compilation features The Flatliners, Apologies I Have None and others performing covers of some of their favorite tracks. Full details of the compilation below. A limited white vinyl pressing with screenprinted B-side is also up for order now.
Friday, February 10, 2017 at 11:34 AM (PST) by villagebrown
Toronto punks The Flatliners have some good news for all of us. The band will release a brand new full-length album on April 7th called Inviting Light. This will be their first record with Rise Records, produced by Peter Pablo and Derek Hoffman.
On the topic of the new album, frontman Chris Cresswell explains:
Inviting Light is about trying to keep up with life around you but also wading through the potential bullshit of people thinking that a digital landscape is more important than their friends. It’s inevitable that you’re fighting for people’s attention now, whether you’re a band or an individual, and there’s not as much value placed on face-to-face human interaction as there is in elevating the profile.
He adds, It’s exciting for a band to be 15 years into their existence and have this. It’s a refreshing thing.
In light of this announcement, the group is streaming a brand new song called “Human Party Trick”, which you can listen to below while you check out the sweet looking cover art and track list. There is currently a pre-order happening for the album – you can check that out here and reserve your copy now.
Inviting Light will serve as a follow-up to the band’s recent 2-song EP, Nerves (debut Dine Alone Records release), as well as their 2013 album, Dead Language.
Friday, January 20, 2017 at 9:30 AM (PST) by villagebrown
Los Angeles Rock veterans Weezer have announced a tour of Western Canada this coming spring. They will be joined by Canadian punks The Flatliners from March 31st to April 8th as the tour moves from Saskatoon, SK to Penticton, BC. You can check out a full list of dates/locations below as well as ticket info here.
Weezer released their latest album, The White Album, on April 1st, 2016. The Flatliners released their EP, Nerves, last October and have plans for a full-length this year.
Wednesday, January 11, 2017 at 10:19 PM (PST) by jaystone
The first batch of bands has been announced for the 2017 installment of Montreal’s Pouzza Fest, and it’s already a pretty great one. Leading the charge none other than Montreal’s adopted son Joey Cape and his pals in the almighty Lagwagon! Also announced are heavy hitters like The Flatliners, Bad Cop/Bad Cop, Mustard Plug (performing “Evildoers Beware”), The Slackers (performing “Redlight”), Red City Radio, and more.
Pouzza Fest takes place May 19-21 in various Montreal venues. Check out the full rundown here.