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The Flatliners

Dead Language

The Flatliners
8
Every punk group have to grow up sometime, don't they? On Dead Language (the fourth full-length by Ontario punkers the Flatliners), it's apparent that there's been a maturation process place within the quartet's ranks. With a live-off-the-floor production sound from the band and long-time producer Steve Rizun, the 13-song album covers more ground than any of the Flatliners' previous efforts, all the while avoiding the ska/reggae leanings of their early material. Guitarist/vocalist Chris Cresswell is again the centre point for the band — always has been — but on Dead Language, he sticks his neck out into territories they've never broached before. Whether it's the soulful Canadiana meets American farm-rock of "Tail Feathers" (the most heart-wrenching four minutes these guys have ever put to tape) or the rhythmic, emo-rock-sounding "Sew My Mouth Shut," the band's fourth album is easily their most well rounded. Thankfully, Cresswell's signature scream and yarl are intact, as is the group's lifelong love for gallop-y, under-three-minute pop-punk numbers ("Bury Me," "Caskets Full" and a handful of others). But for fans that have been waiting for a new chapter in the sound of the Flatliners, look no further than Dead Language; it speaks much louder than anything they've done previously.

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