From the early ska days to one of Canada’s finest punk exports, The Flatliners have been going from strength to strength writing some of the greatest punk tunes in their 15 years as a band. With a new label and a new album entitled ‘Inviting Light’, are they still the kings of Canadian punk?
‘Inviting Light’ is a hugely polished record, but still holds a great deal of that punk integrity. The sheen doesn’t take away any of the raw encapsulating energy the band still clearly has. The album opens with ‘Mammals’, which initially seems like a departure from their signature sound. It feels like a hybrid of Wavves and The Menzingers, full of hooks from start to finish. It’s fair to say the transition to Rise Records has been nothing but a positive move for the Ontarian quartet.
‘Nicotine Lips’ has you hooked from the moment the first lyric leaves vocalist, Chris Creswell’s lungs. It’s a remarkable, catchy punk anthem. One of those designed to make you smirk, and feel compelled to sing along. Lead single ‘Indoors’’ follows, and it’s half time drums coupled with some shrewd guitar riffs introduce you to another one of The Flatliners greatest talents, their ability to write ingenious hooks.
The band slow it down with ‘Unconditional Love’ which makes use of sombre verses which leave room for a colossal chorus section, with heavy guitars complimenting Creswell’s abrasive vocals. ‘Infinite Wisdom’ is a punk juggernaut, reminiscent of a far heavier Gaslight Anthem. Shrill guitar riffs coincide with a thumping, ‘four to the floor’ drum rhythm that drives the song forward at a steady pace.
Whilst 2015’s ‘Division of Spoils’ seemed like another stepping stone album, ‘Inviting Light’ is the finished article for The Flatliners. This feels like the definitive sound for the Canadian punks, as they’ve slowly crafted their brand of punk rock over the past decade and a half.
‘Inviting Light’ by The Flatliners is released on 7th April on Rise Records.
Words by Ryan Wilson (@thrillcollins_)