The Flatliners Cavalcade
Published Apr 13, 2010Finding themselves five years removed from their 2005 debut, Destroy to Create, the Flatliners are slowly emerging as seasoned members of the melodic punk scene. Cavalcade is the Toronto, ON area band's third full-length, recorded between tours in support of 2007's The Great Awake, which kept them on the road for the better part of three years. A sense of road weariness certainly makes itself known on Cavalcade's 12 songs, and it has allowed, or caused, the band to hone in on the grittiness that has long made them such an appealing act. This is most apparent on "Carry the Banner" and "Sleep Your Life Away." However, some of the album's best songs take a much more melodic approach. While this has long been a source of criticism for punk purists, it's when the melodic elements do more than tease the listener that the Flatliners are at their best, as is most readily apparent on "Monumental." Old fans might be disappointed with the lack of ska sounds on Cavalcade, with "He was a Jazz Man" being the only song to really touch on the genre. But most will likely agree that Cavalcade is the band's best effort yet.
You spent an immense amount of time on the road in support of The Great Awake. How has that shaped Cavalcade?
Guitarist/vocalist Chris Cresswell: We recorded Cavalcade between tours, which I would never recommend to any band ever! After spending most of our time on tour after The Great Awake was released, we were able to see more of the world than we ever thought we would. Cavalcade embodies all the things we've learned and had to endure over the last few years, within music and outside of it.
There are some really melodic songs on Cavalcade and some that are quite a bit heavier. Do you see this album as a bridge between those sounds?
We never really write with any clear musical intentions. The fact that some turned out heavier than others and some more melodic is just an extension of our feelings at the time we wrote those songs.
The song "Cavalcade" is about the Great Depression and how it parallels modern times. Besides the obvious economic parallels, what else caused you to draw that comparison?
The increasingly growing homeless population during the Great Depression seemed to always be on the move, looking for work, running from tax collectors and the police. They were nomads. And so are we. We very rarely spend more than one day in each city on tour and are always moving. And although we do realize we've got it much better than a band of homeless men during the Great Depression, you can't deny that our van sometimes smells like a hobo's jacket. (Fat Wreck Chords)