The Flatliners – Dead Language


Album

Dead Language

Label

Fat Wreck Chords

Year

2013

Genre

For Fans Of

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Summary

Refreshingly spry, melodic punk rock.

Rating

70 / 100

Since their inception as a carefree ska-punk outfit, The Flatliners have undergone something of a metamorphosis with each album. As the Canuck four-piece have grown into the melodic punk sluggers they proudly showcase themselves as on latest album ‘Dead Language‘, the stylistic elements of their early work [read: the ska-ness] has been virtually thrown entirely to the wayside. However, in delivering their most mature and coherent record to date, Chris Cresswell and co. are as rambunctious and energetic as ever.

Openers “Resuscitation of the Year” and “Bury Me” set the tone with the sort of unpretentious vigour you’d expect, ripping straight into the fold with blistering guitar lines, a rhythm section that is as tight and professional as it is lively, and Cresswell‘s trademark gruff vocals. From the get-go, there’s a sense of urgency on ‘Dead Language‘ that rarely fades over the forty minutes the album span; but it’s far from feeling rushed. Rather, on album #4, The Flatliners feel like a band wholly comfortable in their own skin, possibly for the first time.

Likely the most immediately noticeable change on ‘Dead Language‘ is that while the songs themselves take on a more melodic edge overall, there aren’t any easily identifiable, memorable choruses. Previous album ‘Cavalcade‘ wasn’t quite a complete singalong affair throughout, but catchy-as-hell tracks like “Monumental” and “Count Your Bruises” are amiss from the tracklist of ‘Dead Language‘. The flipside is that ‘Dead Language‘ feels more consistently anthemic – see the gang vocal-heavy “Ashes Away” and “Dead Hands”. Depending on your own preferences, this might be a positive or a negative for you, but it ultimately leads to a listening experience that feels more focused, direct and cohesive.

Conclusion

Ultimately, ‘Dead Language’ isn’t as sonically diverse or immediately infectious as its predecessors, but The Flatliners seem to have found their feet with the sort of confidence that lets the album feel natural, mature, and plenty of fun. 

Tracklisting

1. Resuscitation of the Year
2. Bury Me
3. Birds of England
4. Drown in Blood
5. Sew My Mouth Shut
6. Caskets Full
7. Ashes Away
8. Hounds
9. Dead Hands
10. Quitters
11. Tail Feathers
12. Young Professionals
13. Brilliant Resilience

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