The Flatliners
Dead Language
(Fat Wreck Chords)

Canada punks The Flatliners have been all over the place musically with their albums in the past, and that’s far from a bad thing. At times focused on aggressive ska, other times rocking a Reggae-vibe (a ’la late era Clash), with Dead Language, the guys opt for straight-ahead punk rock. As a result, they have turned in their most consistently solid release to date.

Ignoring overdubs and studio gimmicks, the band went for a more live feeling on this, their fourth effort, and the sound is obvious. It recalls an immediacy akin to a lot of the punk records from the late 70s and early 80s when bands couldn’t afford endless hours in the studio experimenting with various sound tricks: just loud, fast melodic punk rocks sing-alongs. And not to knock the band’s earlier albums, but Chris Cresswell’s raspy vocals are better suited for this brand of get-in-and-get-out rock.

While 2010’s Cavalcade saw the guys open the studio to everyone from members of Dillinger Four to A Wilhelm Scream, Dead Language is just the foursome knocking out some of the best songs of their nearly 10-year-old partnership. (John B. Moore)


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