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Dying Scene Album Review: The Flatliners – “New Ruin”

“Let me start by peeling back my skin…” With those lyrics from “Performative Hours,” the opening track and lead single from their 6th studio album, New Ruin, The Flatliners announced their triumphant and long-awaited return to the game. With vocals hollered in throat-shredding fashion about a sonic car-crash of guitar, bass and drums, the track […]

“Let me start by peeling back my skin…”

With those lyrics from “Performative Hours,” the opening track and lead single from their 6th studio album, New Ruin, The Flatliners announced their triumphant and long-awaited return to the game. With vocals hollered in throat-shredding fashion about a sonic car-crash of guitar, bass and drums, the track serves as a perfect opening salvo for what you, the listener, are about to experience over the next thirty-eight minutes.

It’s been a while since we last heard from Toronto’s finest. Five years, in fact, since the band unleased Inviting Light on the masses. (Here’s our review from back then, although it’s formatted to the old site so it might be a little wonky, and in the migration to the new platform we lost record of who actually wrote it. Super fun feature.) That album was a bit of a departure in both the literal and figurative senses of the word; it was their first album on Rise Records after the triumvirate of Fat Wreck Chords releases that immediately preceded it, and it brought with it a sound that probably qualifies as more mature and well-crafted than some of the band more frenetic earlier work.

On New Ruin, the Flats find themselves back on Fat Wreck for the first time in close to a decade (I know, I didn’t believe it either, but Dead Language came out in September 2013). Rather than pick up where they left off, however, and fall back on an earlier sound and a shallower bag of tricks which would have, frankly, been a mistake, the band continue to move forward in a way that might just be their best effort yet.

What’s immediately noticeable on this album are the riffs. Oh are there riffs. Not to insert myself into this review, but I had a list of things I wanted to do on the evening that I first listened to this album, and decided to forgo all of them in favor of picking up my Les Paul and trying to decipher some of the rock-and-roll goodness contained herein. Frontman Chris Cresswell and lead guitarist Scott Brigham have always kept the created a variety of textures that range from blistering intensity to swirling cacophony, New Ruin finds the duo fine-tuning their craft into a series of one soaring riff after another. Paul Ramirez and Jon Darby continue to serve as the band’s rock-steady anchor on drums and bass respectively, allowing their six-stringed compatriots to sail in some pretty deep waters filled with big, anthemic, earworm-style riffs.

New Ruin does a wonderful job of weaving in a lot of the different things that the Flats have always done best, but does it better. There’s the caustic, piss-and-vinegar of songs like “Performative Hours” and “Oath,” the latter being lead by those aforementioned massive riffs over a punishing drum line. There’s the mid-tempo push-and-pull of chugging rhythm guitar underneath swirling, sometimes droning leads in tracks like “Top Left Door” and “Big Strum” and my personal favorite “It’ll Hurt.” At least I think that’s my personal favorite. That does seem to keep changing after approximately four dozen listens at this point, however. After another brief, swirling guitar intro, “Tunnel Vision” turns into one of the more straight-ahead, four-on-the-floor punk rock burners in the band’s arsenal. And if you’re really into the big, swirling riffs, album closer “Under A Dying Sun” sets the bar high, an epic six-and-a-half minute wave that gradually builds to a false crest at the midway point, only to regather its energy and continue crashing upon the sonic shores in bigger, bolder fashion.

Both musically and lyrically, New Ruin shines as a beacon signaling that yes, you can go home again, but you can do so with the added weight and wisdom that come with years of consciously examining and reexamining yourself and your place in…well, in all of this. “Performative Hours” laments the self-important, ego-stroking facades that we build up on all sorts of social media. Songs like “Rat King” and “Big Strum” follow the collapse of power-hungry talking heads and their minions who lose sight of the proverbial forest through the trees, eventually collapsing under the weight of their own misdeeds. “Oath” finds our narrator trying to overcome the poisonous waters of hate and instead moving toward love and freedom and acceptance. It’s all a reminder that you can keep your tongue or your pen or your axe all sharpened and ready for battle, primed to call society and our leaders and, sometimes, ourselves on an ever-increasing amount of bullshit in the hopes of a brighter, more hopeful future. We haven’t come up with an album review rating scale here at Dying Scene 2.0 yet, but pick whatever sign or symbol or totem you want, and New Ruin gets all of them.

“…to at least let a little bit of soft light in.”

You can still pre-order New Ruin on Bandcamp here and through Fat Wreck here.

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Dying Scene Album Review: Trashed Ambulance “Future Considerations”

Imagine this if you will, the year is 1999, it is the beginning of Summer, and you’re surrounded by nothing but wilderness and beautiful landscape. You’re about to take a dive off of a 40-foot cliff into a lake, which is really living in the moment. Now the loud music you have blasting on your […]

Imagine this if you will, the year is 1999, it is the beginning of Summer, and you’re surrounded by nothing but wilderness and beautiful landscape. You’re about to take a dive off of a 40-foot cliff into a lake, which is really living in the moment.

Now the loud music you have blasting on your stereo smacks you back into reality. Some fine-tuned punk rock, heavy on the melody and heavy on the fun. You pull off your headphones and stand up to stretch. What was going on before? Were you dreaming?

I was a part of a school-sponsored trip to Canada the Summer before my Junior year of High School, and what was described above actually happened. This was my formal introduction to the wonderful Country of Canada. Fast forward some twenty or so years, and Canada isn’t just a vacation destination for those who love the outdoors.

Canada has become an epicenter for punk rock for the past ten to fifteen years, boasting such great bands as Propagandhi, The Flatliners, Belvedere, Mute, and Silverstein. That’s only naming a few of the many bands who have put Canada on the map for punk rock music.

Trashed Ambulance is a three piece skatepunk/pop punk band out of Red Deer, Alberta and Future Considerations is the band’s third full length album. It is also the first album with the current lineup.

For me being a relatively new fan, after giving Future Considerations a spin, it felt like I have been listening to these guys for years. The influences in their music is instantly apparent and adding their own sound is what drew me to writing this review.

The opening track “56” sets the tone for what is going to be a very loud, energetic, upbeat, melodic and fun album. “Menace” is a standout track, mixing elements of pop punk and skatepunk into a very jumpy and poppy rock tune. On one hand, I can hear Pennywise, specifically their sound from the album All or Nothing, and on another hand I hear NOFX on this track. I really love the dueling vocals with Emilie Plamondon and Robbie Moron on “Stalk in the Park,” it gives a vibe reminiscent of the cover of “Fairytale in New York,” by No Use for a Name. “Blip on the Radar” is my absolute favorite track on the entire album and can be considered a punk rock anthem. I can already picture the crowd singing this one aloud while pumping their fists and chugging their domestic beers. This is a really fun and catchy tune that will likely become a fan favorite.

Trashed Ambulance consists of three members: Josh Hauta – Guitar/Vocals, Jason “Ozone” Ezeard – Bass/Vocals and Riley Bourne – Drums/Vocals. “We tried not to make a paint by numbers skate punk record,” exclaims Hauta. “This album was a true collaboration of ideas between the band members and producer Casey Lewis. We are proud of how it turned out and while we’re under no illusions that we will change the world with a skate punk record in 2022, we are still stoked to be able to present an accurate representation of the band and how we operate in current times.”

They should be proud, this is another solid effort by a hard-working punk rock band. I am pretty confident it will be in heavy rotation among the punk rock scene and those of you reading this review. Do yourself a favor and give this one a spin!

Future Considerations is available on CD and Vinyl via Thousand Islands Records.

Future Considerations by Trashed Ambulance

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Festivals & Events: Good Riddance, Flatliners, Fucked Up, more to play SOS Fest

Western Canadian music festival SOS Fest has announced their 2022 lineup. Good Riddance, The Flatliners, and Fucked Up will be the headliners on the three day festival. Ignite, Brutal Youth, MakeWar, Shit Happens, Belvedere, Danger Cat, Stickaround, Clipwing, The Ripperz, Big Trouble In Little China, Death Cassette, and Satanic Rights will also be playing. Tickets go on sale Friday, June 17. SOS Fest will take place September 8-10 at The Park Theatre in Winnipeg, Manitoba.

Festivals & Events: The Flatliners announce two ‘Holiday Melee’ shows (ON)

The Flatliners have announced two "Holiday Melee" shows for Toronto in December. One of the shows will be a full band acoustic set. Tickets go on sale on Friday, June 17. The Flatliners are currently on their 20th anniversary tour in the Midwest and they will be touring Western Canada in the fall, the Northeast in November and Ontario and Quebec in December. The band will be releasing their new album New Ruin August 5 and released Inviting Light in 2017. Check out the dates below.

The Flatliners

The Flatliners are a Canadian punk rock band from Richmond Hill, Ontario. Since their formation in 2002, the band has been a growing influence in the Toronto punk/ska movement, with consistently well-received albums and live shows.

The Flatliners delay start of European tour

The Flatliners have announced that they are delaying the start of their European tour due to the increase in travel costs. Their shows in Madrid, Gijon, Barcelona, Le Garric, and Fribourg will be rescheduled for next year. The tour will now begin on August 2 in Paris. The band announced this in an Instagram post that reads in part, "Just when we thought we'd all be getting back to doing what we love, uninterrupted and reunited with you all, the world doesn't seem to want to fully cooperate. We've made the difficult decision to bow out of the first week of our upcoming European tour due to the overwhelming rise of travel costs that every band on the planet, big or small, is facing right now. […] We want it to be clear that this is in no way the fault of the promoters, the booking agency, the clubs or the other bands. Everyone has been so helpful with putting this tour together. The sad truth is the cost of travel is the highest it's ever been, and is simply just far too high for us to make the whole tour work as it should." The band will touring Western Canada in the fall, the Northeast in November and Ontario and Quebec in December including two Holiday Melee shows in Toronto. The Flatliners will be releasing their album New Ruin on August 5 and released Inviting Light in 2017. Check out the statement in full below.

The Flatliners to release hot sauce

The Flatliners are now in the hot sauce biz. New Ruin sauce is produced by Tom's Hot Sauce Co, and you can pick it up from the band on their current Euro tour dates.

The Flatliners: “Rat King”

The Flatliners have released a new song. The song is called "Rat King" and is off their upcoming album New Ruin due out August 5 via Fat Wreck Chords. The band will touring Western Canada in the fall, the Northeast in November and Ontario and Quebec in December including two Holiday Melee shows in Toronto. The Flatliners released Inviting Light in 2017. Check out the song below.

Videos: The Flatliners: “Rat King”

The Flatliners have released a new song. The song is called "Rat King" and is off their upcoming album New Ruin due out August 5 via Fat Wreck Chords. The video was directed by Mitch Barnes. The band will touring Western Canada in the fall, the Northeast in November and Ontario and Quebec in December including two Holiday Melee shows in Toronto. The Flatliners released Inviting Light in 2017. Check out the song below.