The Flatliners

Cavalcade

Written by: PP on 20/05/2010 04:33:39

On their previous record, Ontario-Canada based The Flatliners referred to themselves as "skunk rock" because of the way they injected ska into their melodic Fat Wreck Chords punk interpretation. However, the ska elements have been mostly removed from "Cavalcade", their third album overall, and although many sadfaces will probably appear across the internet as a result, I for one think it's for the better.

Why? It's very simple. The Flatliners have always been the masters of writing super-melodic choruses that grab the listener from the very first listen, and the ska-sections often slowed down the pace to a level where they weren't working optimally. The band were always at their best in songs like "Eulogy", which they have clearly recognized prior to writing "Cavalcade". All songs here are relatively high-tempo, relying on big sing alongs and huge choruses, backed by melodic gang vocals where necessary. The Lawrence Arms still come to mind from time to time, but that's no biggie when the songs are this catchy. A couple of exceptions to the melodic punk formula do appear, such as the ska/reggae-esque "He Was A Jazzman", but not enough to warrant placing the ska tag anywhere near this album overall.

The vocals of Chris Cresswll are explosive, but yet they contain just the right mix of gruffness and melody to catch on. The guitars are bright and fast, although nothing particularly original is on offer in this department. Occasionally the bassist shows off some fuckin' sweet licks, which is something that could be used a lot more on the record, but it's fine as it is. Some of the best cuts demonstrating the above are "Shithawks", "The Calming Collection" and "Carry The Banner", the latter two of which open the album with a blast of sing alongs to get the listener into the right mood, before the slightly more hardcore gangshout oriented "Bleed" .

Overall though, "Cavalcade" is a record that's going to appeal to any Fat Wreck fan or a fan of melodic punk in general. It's probably not the album that's going to change your mind about this style, but then again it might, because there are some retardedly catchy sing alongs scattered across the album. Make your decisions using the player below.

Download: The Calming Collection, Carry The Banner, Shithawks
For the fans of: The Lawrence Arms, Banner Pilot, Rumspringer
Listen: Myspace

Release date 13.04.2010
Fat Wreck Chords

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