by Zac Lomas, edited by Erik van Rheenen
The latter half of 2013 has been an exciting time in The Flatliners’ camp, with the release of a split, a full-length, and now an EP, all since the month of May. Their latest EP, which takes its name from the song “Caskets Full” off of their latest LP, Dead Language,is a burst of three songs, including the aforementioned “Caskets Full,” along with an unreleased track and the band’s tribute to Tony Sly.
“Caskets Full’s” macabre but energetic nature kick-starts the EP as vocalist Chris Cresswell’s delightfully brash baritone opens the song by shouting, “Turn all your pockets inside out / Confess your love to the concrete now / All the bitter hearts set to explode / Our ringing ears never hear a sound.” “Caskets Full” is the perfect intersection of gruff punk rock and soaring guitar leads, proving once again why The Flatliners continue to captivate audiences worldwide, while remaining true to their punk rock roots.
If “Caskets Full” stays true to the band’s punk rock roots, then “Wynford Bridge” gives a nostalgic nod to the early days of The Flatliners when their brand of ska-punk was slightly more ska-heavy than it is today. “Wynford Bridge” features the distinct up-strumming technique so prevalent in ska, but with a kickass dose of The Flatliners’ insatiable punk rock punch. The band pounds through the track as Paul Ramirez’ bellowing drums provide a raucous tempo that continues nonstop through the stellar track.
by Zac Lomas, edited by Erik van Rheenen
When I was a freshman in college, I took an unconventional spring break trip. Unlike my higher-brow peers who trekked as close to the equator as possible, I opted for a more modest destination, Pittsburgh. With my best friend Mooch in tow, we made our way to the Altar Bar to see Pittsburgh natives Anti-Flag play a hometown show. However, one of my fondest memories of that show occurred during the set before Anti-Flag, in which I, eagerly moshing to The Flatliners, fell on the hardwood floor and broke my elbow. With Dead Language,The Flatliners once again release the type of raucous punk album that leads to cracked elbows, bruised ribs, and smiling faces.
Dead Language is The Flatliners’ third album on Fat Wreck Chords, and this partnership is truly a match made in heaven, as the Ontario natives continue to lead the classic punk revival charge. The album opener “Resuscitation Of The Year” begins with a series of high-hat hits, accompanied by a melodically charged guitar lick, after which all hell breaks loose and the band crashes into a blistering punk beat, ramping up the BPMs to borderline insane levels. The songs acts as a proverbial kick-start to the album, warning listeners that nowhere in the past three years since Cavalcade was released did they decide to slow down. The song ends with the overtly Canadian line “Here goes nothing, eh?” that appears to be taken from either the infamous Trailer Park Boys television show or the annals of Bob and Doug MacKenzie.
“Bury Me,” “Birds Of England,” and “Drown In Blood” pick up right where “Resuscitation Of The Year” ends, with vocalist Chris Cresswell’s unmistakable voice dominating the majority of each track. However, it is “Sew My Mouth Shut,” the album’s fifth track that really illustrates the band’s potential. With Cresswell’s passionate voice churning out the words “Sew my mouth shut so I can’t even breathe, what will life be like without me?”the song hits a note of self-deprecation that contrasts the upbeat nature of Cresswell and Scott Brigham’s guitar handiwork.
The Flatliners have posted a second preview of Dead Language. Check it out below after the jump.
POZ Discussion: Most Anticipated September Releases
September is just a few days away, and there are a slew of great records coming out next month that PropertyOfZack team members couldn’t be more stoked to hear. In today’s new Discussion, we’re highlighting our personal Most Anticipated September Releases. Check out our list below and feel free to reblog with what you’re looking forward to as well!
Balance & Composure - The Things We Think We’re Missing (09/10)
Separation has built up more and more momentum since its release in 2011, catapulting Balance & Composure into the discussion as the “next big thing” in this post-grunge movement. After a well-received two-song effort on a split with revered veterans Braid, B&C are set to unleash their second album on No Sleep Records, titled The Things We Think We’re Missing, on September 10. The band has always taken a slightly different sonic approach with each release, so it’s difficult to tell what the album will exactly sound like.
That being said, the band’s staples will certainly be there: crushing guitars, pounding drum and bass fills, and Jon Simmons’ signature croon layered on top of it all, creating some of the best songs to bang your head to. If you’re looking for a sophomore slump, look elsewhere; this band is too talented and focused on their craft to let fans down, and if the two tracks released thus far (“Reflection” and “Tiny Raindrop”) are combined with a few raucous tracks like “Quake” or fan favorite “I Tore You Apart in My Head,” the top of everyone’s “Best Albums of 2013” lists are about to make room for Balance & Composure to reign supreme. - Donald Wagenblast
Saves The Day - Saves The Day(09/17)
In the 15 years since Saves the Day released their debut Can’t Slow Down, the band has seen many faces thanks in part to a constantly shifting sound and an even more irregular series of lineup changes. Still, the band’s constant, singer and principal songwriter Chris Conley, still remains. While some have questioned the directions taken over the past few records, the pop punk sensibilities are thriving in Conley’s songwriting and thanks in part to life happening, a mature songwriter has emerged, showing that the band can survive past its youthful roots.
The band’s upcoming eighth studio album already sounds like an amalgamation of the various styles the band has taken on through its lengthy career. Self titling it may also be a sign of the band showing that they are still who they are despite constant fluctuation. The already released “Remember” and “The Tide of Our Times” are all retrospective and never short on hop-along pop punk riffs and Conley’s genuinely adolescent-sounding vocals.
With the current lineup now two albums deep into the relationship, the band is sounding just as tight as any other lineup they’ve had. - Jason Stives
Stray From The Path - Anonymous(09/17)
After a brief viral campaign (“Where Is Our Liberty?”) turned heads earlier this summer, Long Island-based alternative hardcore outfit Stray From The Path is prepping for the release of their highly anticipated third full-length, Anonymous. But this time, something feels different.
A little more than two years to date since the release of their sophomore LP, Rising Sun, Stray From The Path is more determined and politically charged than ever. With three tracks from Anonymous already making waves online, including scorching first single “Badge And A Bullet,” the angst-driven quartet appears poised to unveil a new benchmark for the genre, one that feels both eerily familiar and entirely new at the same time.
Set to feature guest appearances from Stick To Your Guns’ Jesse Barnett and letlive.’s Jason Butler, and influenced heavily by the likes of Rage Against The Machine and Snapcase, Anoynmous deserves its place on your radar this September.- Brandon Allin
The Flatliners - Dead Language(09/17)
The Flats have been a little quiet for the last few years. With their last full length that surfaced in 2010, Cavalcade was a rock-solid and blazingly fast showing of really fun melodic punk that settled naturally into the Fat Wreck catalog. Touring North America fairly consistently for the last few years, the Canadian band took their time with new material, finally releasing a split with Connecticut’s Make Do and Mend earlier this year on Rise Records. And if the split’s any indication of how the upcoming full length will turn out, it’s more of what Flats fans love: rough-and-tumble punk tempos fueling catchy melodies that somehow come without the slightest hint of triteness.
Riot Fest Toronto kicks off this weekend, and PropertyOfZack is gearing up for a weekend of fun, and we hope many of you are too. Just in case you haven’t put together your schedule, we thought it’d be a great idea to put together a list of POZ’s Must See Bands And Artists that will be gracing the stage this weekend in Toronto. Reblog and let us know who we need to see while we’re at the second day of Riot this weekend as well!
Riot Fest Previews:
Riot Fest Toronto: Our Must-See Bands And Artists (Day One)
I was tempted to write something along the lines of, “The Replacements are playing their first show in 22 years. Need I say more?” But I don’t think that would quite cut it.
However, The Replacements are in fact playing their first show in 22 years and this will be a monumental occurrence. With Paul Westerberg seemingly the most stable he’s been in years, The Replacements’ reunion will be one of the biggest music moments of the entire year. If you find yourself at Fort York on Sunday and don’t stick around for The Replacements’ set, then you’ve missed an indelible piece of alternative rock history. So even if you’re not familiar with their work, stay: this is the kind of thing you brag to your future children about. - Zac Lomas
To form a band after leaving Propagandhi is no small task, but to accomplish what John Samson and The Weakerthans have is nothing short of spectacular. With over a decade of experience, The Weakerthans are a well-oiled machine that can crank out the most intensively introspective melodic jams, and with four LPs to date, the band have plenty of tracks to choose from when they take the stage at Fort York.
With the always rambunctious Iggy & The Stooges slated to perform immediately after their set, The Weakerthans will provide a much needed and emotionally charged lull before all hell breaks loose. - Zac Lomas
The Flatliners are another band who call the providence of Ontario home, so naturally their fans should come out in full force to what may be the band’s biggest hometown show ever. With their classic style of punk rock, The Flatliners not only add a certain level of diversity to the festival’s second day, but also a modern twist on a day dominated by legends such as Iggy & The Stooges and the highly anticipated reunion of The Replacements.
Stick To Your Guns and The Story So Far. Anti-Flag and Hostage Calm. Title Fight and Touché Amoré. Splits are making a comeback, and I for one welcome their return. The split is as much a part of “punk rock” tradition as the mosh pit, and both Make Do And Mend and The Flatliners do their fair share of upping the proverbial punx on this split release. While pairing up the melody-driven rockers in Make Do And Mend with the chaotic punk revivalists The Flatliners may seem unconventional, this split works, relying heavily on the shared passion and sincerity of both bands.
Make Do And Mend’s half of the split includes the seemingly related tracks “Don’t” and “Tell Me,” which may be some of the most straightforward songs of the band’s career. While both tracks retain the rich complexities so deeply engrained in the band’s sound, they also follow a distinctly pointed and singular trajectory, which makes for an easy listening experience. James Carroll’s vocals on “Don’t” are rougher than any of his previous work, clearly channeling his inner Chuck Ragan in a successful effort to inject pure passion into lyrics like, “When do you admit that you’re done? / Because God only knows what they’ll say about me when the curtains have finally drawn.”
“Tell Me,” on the other hand, leans farther toward the reserved melodic end of the spectrum. More conventional vocals from Carroll, combined with Mike O’Toole’s irresistible hooks make this track feel like the Make Do And Mend listeners have grown to love. “Tell Me” is the go-to track from this split, dominating both sides of the record. One can only hope that it’ll find its way into the band’s live set sometime in the near future.