The Flatliners: Dead Language Speaks Volumes

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Returning for their fourth studio release, the pulse pounding Richmond Hill and Brampton locals, The Flatliners return to knock the socks off fans with an album entitled Dead Language.

It’s been three years since The Flatliners released the formidable, Cavalcade, making Dead Language the most anticipated album of their career. Fans, myself included, have been eagerly awaiting a new record with guided patience.

“We were just touring a lot,” explains singer, Chris Cresswell, on the road from Chicago to Milwaukee. “I feel like we got to the point where it was had been two and a half years and we were like, ‘oh, what’s another year?'” With hope that the record would have been finished earlier, the band is happy with their meticulous efforts and ultimately the result. “We couldn’t be happier with what we’ve been hearing from people.”

Working alongside long time friend, sound engineer, and former manager Steve Rizun, for the recording of Dead Language, the four-piece have certainly come into their own. Sonically speaking. With the same circle-pit inspiring, punk rock power chord driving melodies, Dead Language delivers on the same Flatliners sound fans have come to love. Only this time around, there seems to be a more mature version of the punk rock quartet. With growling vocals, catchy lead licks, and a certain ‘je ne sais quoi’, this record not only meets the expectations but offers a portrait of a band that has established exactly how they’re supposed to be. “He knows our sound very well, and I think that’s why we keep going back to him,” explains Cresswell. Another recruit for this record was mastering heavy-weight Harry Hess (Barenaked Ladies, Monster Truck, Cancer Bats).

Recoding live off the floor has many advantages for a group. First off, the songs are played in real-time. The sound, the atmosphere, and the band’s chemistry are captured in one take. Second, the tedious act of recording each instrument separately is eliminated. There is less room for error, but the band is ultimately better for doing it. “We knew in the end it would become us playing these songs live and we were really looking for a way to not find ourselves in this area where, ‘we recorded this album now we have to try to pull this off live,'” describes Cresswell. The certain ‘je ne sais quoi’ can only be allotted to this live recording style. Since it’s the first time the band has really implemented it on an album. “With Cavalcade, we did play everything together but it was isolated, and to a click track for the most part as well,” notes the front-man.

“There were still a lot of restrictions involved. As far as tempo and everything. So this was the first time we were like, ‘fuck the click.’ We know if it’s too fast or too slow when we listen back to it.”

Fuck the click indeed. There is no need for restrictions when dealing with the high energy of a band like The Flatliners. And with an album name like Dead Language, don’t expect anything of the sort. The melodic ramblings of Resuscitation Of The Year, set the tone for the tracks to follow. Cresswell’s current favourite Bury Me, follows with the strength to drive a runaway train straight home. A suiting intermission that is Caskets Full becomes slotted at the half way mark to give the listener another tasty lick to hum for the rest of the day, while Ashes Away, and Hounds sweep in to lay the foundation for the remaining tracks. A complete album to say the least. “We’re really stoked on what we were able to accomplish in a live setting and we hope people can tell it was recorded that way. There’s a human element to it,” notes the vocalist. “We love how [Cavalcade] turned out listening back to it now, it’s pretty polished sounding and we hope people are into a little more of a raw sound to the band.”

The group has another week of tours lined up, including a show at the Horseshoe Tavern in Toronto, ON on Sept. 19 (this Thursday), before taking a short break then heading to Brazil for the first time. “And then we do a weekend in the US with Good Riddance…and then in November we’re going to Europe.” More dates to be announced for December as well.

Also, watch out for a music video for Caskets Full that’s soon to be in the works. There’s also whispers of a 7″ to succeed Dead Language, “we do have some extra songs from the recordings.” hints Cresswell. “We’re just in the midst of trying to figure out what’s going to go on it and when it’s going to come out.”

Dead Language hits shelves Sept. 17 (today if you’re paying attention). And keep paying attention to The Flatliners in the upcoming months. Good things to come I’m sure.
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Feature Images provided by ListenHarder.

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