Review Summary: If you think there is no interesting ska-punk music anymore, you owe The Flatliners a listen.
The Flatliners are a punk rock band from Richmond Hill and Brampton, Ontario, Canada. They are currently signed to Fat Wreck Chords and Stomp Records (Canada).
For many, Ska-punk is their introductory into the punk music scene as it is just poppy enough to grab their attention, but still fast enough to feed their drive for a good old mosh pit. For others ska is the only genre close to punk music that they can tolerate for pretty much the same reason. The Flatliners full length debut "Destroy To Create" features a sound that could please both full out hardcore fans up to poppy ska loving fans.
Right away from the intro, you know the band is serious about the music they create; instead of relying on a joke-style horn section, the band relies on their tremendous energy and poetic lyrics. From the first few distorted power chords on "Fred's Got Slacks" the listener will realize that they are in for quite a punk rock ride. The lyrics are very well done and Chris says them so fast that you could put a simple 4/4 beat under them and pass the song off as rap.
I couldn't help but be impressed with the production quality which seems to be lacking in most punk music. It's produced well but still maintains that "Raw" almost "Live" feel to it.
If you aren't one for music you can't sing along to then not to worry, the songs are aided by a very likable chorus for the most part, holding snotty lyrics like "We're apathetic, we're so pathetic" and a crowd pleaser with "Hands up! Fists high!" The smart sarcasm dispayed in the lyrical work really separates the band from government hating punk kids that really know little about politics.
The middle of the album keeps things going strong such as “Bad News,” which tackles the subject of the negativity inherent in the media today. This song is far more mid-tempo and its verses are built around an upstroke rhythm but feature complimentary melancholic guitar parts which accent the gloomy atmosphere. Rounding out the song is a solid bassline, interesting drum fills and another winning chorus of, "Freight train headed for me and I can't see a thing, freight train headed for me, freight train of destruction like a punch in the face." Theres a hidden track at the albums conclusion which just shows the potential held by the vocalist as he sings over a somewhat simple guitar part.
Destroy to Create shows a young band full of energy and promise. They are able to craft unique songs with enough variation to keep the listener’s interest sustained without having to turn their back on their core sound completely. If you are a fan of ska-punk in the vein of the Code or the Suicide Machines or even just aggressive pissed off punk, you will not be disappointed with this release.
The Flatliners are:
Chris Cresswell (Guitar, Vocals)
Scott Brigham (Guitar)
Jon Darbey (Bass)
Paul Ramirez (drums)