Toronto’s Flatliners have graduated from the new guard to a foundational band over at pop-punk label Fat Wreck on the band’s latest, Dead Language. The album picks up where 2010’s Cavalcade left off, mixing up blistering punk fury with fist-in-the-air rock size. The best moments here find the band either tapping into their endless reserve or propulsive energy—opener “Resuscitation of the Year”, standout “Caskets Full”—or turning into a scrappy take on the E Street sound (see “Birds of England”).
If the latter move feels like a familiar one for a maturing rock band, it’s an outfit that sits comfortably on the Flatliners. Sometimes, that move for trad-rock sounds can bog the disc in mid-tempo sluggishness, as on “Ashes Away” or “Tail Feathers”. But, on the whole, Dead Language is another solid record from one of the great pop-punk bands working today. There are moments of growing pains, but they never overshadow the highlights here, of which there are many.
We all know how critical it is to keep independent voices alive and strong on the Internet. Your donation will help PopMatters stay viable through these changing and challenging times.
// Sound Affects
"History repeats the old conceits, the glib replies, the same defeats. Keep your finger on important issues, and keep listening to the 275th most acclaimed album of all time. A 1982 masterpiece is this week's Counterbalance.READ the article