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The Flatliners

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Biography

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 or inverted ska rhythm. Comparisons to London Calling, Sandinista!, early Members, or the Ruts are more productive than comparisons to more overtly reggae-influenced acts like the Specials or Madness. After forming the band in Toronto, Ontario, in 2002, hoarse-voiced singer and rhythm guitarist Chris Cresswell, lead guitarist Scott Brigham, bassist Jon Darbey, and drummer Paul Ramirez gigged across Canada's D.I.Y. punk circuit for several years, contributing tracks to various compilations, before finally recording their debut album, Destroy to Create. Originally self-released, Destroy to Create was picked up for full North American distribution by Stomp Records in the fall of 2005. Touring followed the record's release, and in spring 2007 the Flatliners announced their signing to Cali-based Fat Wreck Chords for U.S. and worldwide (except Canada) releases. The label change marked a change in the Flatliners' sound, as they turned more distinctively pop-punk for 2007's Great Awake and 2010's Cavalcade. 2013's Dead Language saw the band honing their years of collective playing for a stripped-down and intensely powerful sound that found them playing as a near telepathic singular entity.

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