Punk rock used to be about haggard road warriors. Before all the breakdowns and flat irons, there were busted transmissions and collect calls home. The Flatliners grew up believing in the later and rejecting the former, and after seven years playing together, they’re unleashing Cavalcade, their third full-length record and an epic sonic testament to the life they’ve chosen.
Over the last four years, the Flatliners have spent almost thirty months in vans, dive bars, and concert halls across North America, Europe, and Japan, building up a dedicated following with a sound that mixes the endless fury of ‘90s skate punk with the nuanced, intelligent songwriting of classic post-punks like the Replacements and Hot Water Music. After releasing the ska-punk tinged Destroy to Create (Union Label Group) in 2005, the band evolved into a harsh melodic machine with 2007’s The Great Awake (Fat Wreck Chords), completing their transition into a vital modern punk unit with the Cynics 7” (Fat Wreck Chords) in late 2009.
For Cavalcade, the Flatliners once again teamed up with long-time producer and friend Steve Rizun, recording sporadically between tours in their hometown of Toronto over the course of 2009. Seeking to immortalize the last year of their lives on the road, the end result is easily the band’s finest hour; from the thrashy immediacy of “The Calming Collection” to the dub-influenced “He Was A Jazzman”, it’s the sound of a band hitting their stride musically and finding their voice lyrically, exploring the idea of unity through disconnectedness, of positivity in uncertain times. Driving home the theme are the numerous guest appearances on the record: members of Cancer Bats, A Wilhelm Scream, Dillinger Four, The Snips, Junior Battles, Permanent Bastards, and the Expos all contributed to Cavalcade. Add to that the presence of veteran punk Fat Mike, who flew up to jam with the band in November of 2009, earning an additional production credit and making one of the band’s childhood dreams come true.
They’ve grown up on record and in front of a crowd of like-minded punks. They’ve made sacrifices to keep the wheels of their van on the road, and Cavalcade is the reward. It really is, as the band says, “a call to arms to all who travel throughout the world on the wings of their creativity.”
The Flatliners show their true colours as dirty hobos in their video for “Carry the Banner”
These guys kick ass! I highly recommend copping their new album!