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Destroy To Create

The Flatliners

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Album Review

You may think there's no such thing as exciting ska-punk anymore (if there ever was), and no one's going to fault you for that. But if that's your attitude, then you owe it to yourself to give the Flatliners a listen. While most bands of this type take the manic-and-goofy approach, wearing funny hats and playing funny horns, the Flatliners are dead serious. That means that this album, their first, could have been really embarrassing. Instead it boasts a sound that belies the quartet's tender years and bodes very well for the future. Chris Cresswell doesn't exactly sing, but he doesn't exactly just yell, either — his voice falls somewhere between Tim Armstrong's five-pack-a-day croak and Jello Biafra's dramatic tremolo, and while the songs don't boast much in the way of singalong melodies, there's a catchiness to the hardcore-inflected minor key guitar parts that keeps the band's headlong rush from getting tiresome. Highlight tracks include the supersonic "Public Service Announcement" and the absolutely brilliant "Macoretta Boozer," a cry of despair disguised as a snide putdown of a drunken acquaintance. The ska backbeats come across as something of an afterthought when they come up at all, scattered randomly throughout what is otherwise just one of the best and most tightly disciplined hardcore albums of the year. Very highly recommended.

Biography

Formed: 2002 in Toronto, Ontario, Canada

Genre: Alternative

Years Active: '00s, '10s

A ska-influenced punk rock band along the lines of early Rancid, Canada's Flatliners (not to be confused with the Texas band of the same name) have little time for the usual skanking tomfoolery associated with the third wave of mid-'90s ska-punks: not for them either the naked pop aspirations of No Doubt or the exaggerated goofiness of the Mighty Mighty Bosstones. Instead, the Flatliners play aggressive but melodic old-school, pre-hardcore punk rock songs, enlivened with the occasional dubby bassline...
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Destroy To Create, The Flatliners
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