Published Sep 19, 2007Once an underage suburban ska punk band, the Flatliners have blossomed into a startlingly great proper punk band. While their debut record, Destroy to Create, was steeped in the influence of more aggressive third-wave ska bands like the Suicide Machines and the classic sounds of Op Ivy, their second full-length is an almost upstroke-free affair, with a greater focus on massive-sounding gang vocals, double-time drum beats and scratchy, catchy vocals set to dark-sounding melodies. "July! August! Reno! starts things off with an explosive bang, establishing immediately the shift from teenage political angst to Black Flag-style "personal politics. The track is driving and anthemic, featuring a unique song structure that keeps its catchy refrain from becoming a droning, typical chorus. "Eulogy succeeds in honouring the memory of a friend without relying on tried-and-true clichés of loss, and while its subject matter may be sad, the songs message remains hopeful and optimistic, a trend that runs throughout. As dark as some songs may sound sonically, there remains a melodic and thematic positivity that makes The Great Awake a more layered and rewarding listen than many of its genre contemporaries.
I can only assume that with this record coming out on Union in Canada and on Fat worldwide that this must be a pretty exciting time.
Drummer Paul Ramirez: I just want to travel. Were supposed to go to Europe in January and theres talk about Japan. Our record comes out there, so we can probably go. Vocalist/guitarist Chris Cresswell: And Soviet Russia! Thats a bad joke. Actually, it probably does come out there. I feel great, though. Weve been living and breathing this record for a year now. The last record, we wrote the majority of that when we were 14 years old.
Given the amount of time that has passed, it makes sense that this is a much darker record.
Cresswell: A lot of stuff happened. We lost a lot of friends and family members. We experienced a lot of music industry bullshit that was tearing everyone apart. But were better friends now than we ever have been, and I think the record is really uplifting, too. Its a big "Fuck you! and a big "Fuck yeah! at the same time. (Union 2112)