Review Summary: A by the numbers energetic punk release that is good while it lasts and is sure to please those into straight and fast punk music. The only downside is that the album could do with a few more unique songs.
The latest release from The Flatliners is appropriately titled as the fast explosive punk melodies will wake you up from the first track and won’t let up for another 35 min. This Canadian band is the newest addition on the fat wreck chords label. While I haven’t heard their 1st release Destroy To Create, it’s said to have more of a ska/reggae skew compared to the straight edged punk heard on this new release. While certain tracks do show a hint of their earlier roots it’s only expressed with subtle guitar and bass strumming rather than horns. I’m not quite sure why they pulled back on this style as it could have added some much needed depth to the album.
A greater change in style or pace also would have added a bit more variety to the tracks as it’s sometimes hard to tell when one ends and the next begins.
This isn’t necessarily a bad thing but most songs probably aren’t liable to leave you with a lasting impression apart from ‘Eulogy’ which is by far my favourite track and is definitely a 5 star song. There’s something about the chorus that really does it for me. It could be the passion or it could just be the ripping melody. Either way this track is the only one off the album that has been stuck in my head for a long time.
‘Mother Teresa Chokeslams The World’ and ‘These Words Are bullets’ also have standout choruses. The aggressive anthem of “we’re tired of waiting” and “we are the dead generation staring down the barrel of your gun” sum up the general theme on this album and kind of remind me of Rise Against’s earlier work.
The slowest song on the album ‘This Respirator’ has a cool relaxed vibe to it, while the subtle ska sounding bass line on ‘And The World Files For Chapter 11’ sounds similar to some of Operation Ivy’s work but with more aggressive guitar work. The catchy “Hey, Hey’s” thrown out in the background also make this song stand out a bit more than the other tracks.
The last track ‘KHTDR’ is the most unique due to the presence of horns and numerous switches between rock and ska styles. The induction of a large trombone breakdown in the middle of the songs pushes it to 7 minutes in length. Since it was still able to maintain my interest throughout it goes to show what these Canadians are capable of when they put their ska style to good use.
In summary ‘The New Wake’ is by the numbers energetic punk release that is good while it lasts and is sure to please those into straight and fast punk music. The absence of more memorable unique tracks is the only thing holding this album back from being excellent. Now I’ll have to check out their first release and see if its more pronounced ska sound can fully convert me to this band in the future.