Growing up in my towns local punk rock scene I saw a lot of bands come and go. Many of them I don't remember, mostly because there was nothing memorable about them. Every once and a while though a band was get on stage that would strike a chord with me and leave me wanting more. Thankfully The Flatliners just never seemed to go away, and unlike the other bands that rolled through town, they got bigger and better. I lost touch with my towns scene for a few years, and the show that brought me back was The Flatliners who had come back to town to play songs from their record The Great Awake, and my mind was blown. Since that record dropped in 2007 on Fat Wreck Chords they've had two more releases, 2010's Cavalcade and their new album that dropped last month Dead Language.
This record definitely builds on the new sound that The Flatliners have been working to develop since their first major release Destroy to Create (2005). On Destroy vocalist Chris Cresswell had an enormous amount of speed and power behind his voice which gave a great youthful sound to their blistering punk/ska sound. Though now, they have really established themselves as a much more matured band. Their songs now are more driven by a developed musicianship and th unique vocal style of Cresswell. Their songs seems to speak from the years spent on roads in vans and on planes going around the world.
Dead Language picks up where Cavalcade finish and ramps up with the opening track "Resuscitation of the Year" which is an intense anthem hitting you hard in the face to tell you "Sit the fuck down and listen". This song almost sounds like it could have been on 2010's Cavalcade and feels like a bridge between the two records. The blistering punk rock drive, with blistering quick chords and a destructive rhythm section automatically put this song into my good books. The albums continues with a great pace through "Bury Me", and ramps down to a slower and deeper pace for the very noteworthy "Birds of England." not before stabbing you in the ears with "Drown in Blood".
Track after track on Dead Language put a smile on my face as it's always a surprise that a band that has been consistently pumping out amazing material for years has yet to jump the shark.
While this album is great, it still didn't seem to reach the heights of their last two albums. Many of the tracks on The Great Awake and Cavalcade would get stuck in my head for days and I've yet to experience that in the week or so I've been listening to Dead Language. That could be in part that those last 2 albums were very chorus driven and simpler than their new tracks. It could also be that the years on the road are taking a tole because an amount of settling down can herd in comparison to Cavalcade. Either way Dead Language does not disappoint a fan of The Flatliners and I could see it being easily accessible to someone who is into punk, pop punk or even just general hard rock.