The Flatliners – The Great Awake

The Flatliners – The Great Awake / 2007 Fat Wreck / 12 Tracks / /

This is the debut album by Toronto’s own The Flatliners, and the band is able to come at their first release with such intensity that individuals will feel that they are much farther in their careers. The first track on “The Great Awake” is “July! August! Reno!”, and it paints The Flatliners as a band that likes to give their listeners a dollop of punk while still having some of the emotional intensity of current day hardcore. The overall approach of the band during this track plays on the output of bands like Latterman, but there is a hint of earlier acts like Thought Riot present during this opening track. Similarly, “Eulogy” is a track that will recall 2005-era Rise Against, along with hints of Strike Anywhere and earlier Against Me!.

The vocals are the big x factor when linking The Flatliners to the rest of these bands. The vocals during a song like “Eulogy” actually have more of an early Unwritten Law meets Face To Face sound, if a little bit of Tim Armstrong was thrown into the mix. The band blasts off during the chorus, creating a catchy style of punk rock that is truly their own during this time. The rich traditions that The Flatliners play on throughout the entirety of “The Great Awake” is what will get individuals to buy the album; their ability beyond these influences is what will undoubtedly keep individuals listening.  “…And The World Files for Chapter 11” plays on some of the same styles and influences that were first present during “July!”. However, the act keeps things fresh by throwing in a decent amount of ska influences and making a break-neck speed punk track into something that looks at alt country and can even be construed by some to be a dance-worthy track.

The Flatliners may not have that many tracks that are destined to operate as crossover tracks as their fellow country mates Sum 41 have and Simple Plan have in the least, but rather put together a collection of songs that will ensure that “The Great Awake’ is kept in CD changes for months to come. Further differentiation of the band’s influences on the band’s second album will allow The Flatliners to craft an even more unique sound than what comes forth during “The Great Awake”. A solid debut by a great band.

Top Tracks: This Is Giving Up, Meanwhile, In Hell

Rating: 7.2/10

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Author: James McQuiston

Ph.D. in Political Science, Kent State University. I have been the editor at NeuFutur / since I was 15. Looking for new staff members all the time; email me if you are interested. Thanks!

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