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The Flatliners

Dead Language

(Fat Wreck; US: 17 Sep 2013; UK: 16 Sep 2013)

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.

Rating:

Matthew Fiander is a music critic for PopMatters and Prefix Magazine. He also writes fiction and his work has appeared in The Yalobusha Review. He received his M.F.A. in Creative Writing from UNC-Greensboro and currently teaches writing and literature at High Point University in High Point, NC. You can follow him on Twitter at @mattfiander.


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21 Jun 2010
If you're a fan of punk rock -- particularly that school of SoCal pop-punk that reigned in the mid-90's -- you've got to get excited about a band like the Flatliners.
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