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The Flatliners - Destroy to Create (Cover Artwork)

The Flatliners

The Flatliners: Destroy to CreateDestroy to Create (2005)
Union Label Group

Reviewer Rating: 4
User Rating:


Contributed by: SloaneDaleySloaneDaley
(others by this writer | submit your own)

If you're like me, then ska was a major gateway into the world of punk rock. It has been my experience that this in fact holds true for a great many people in my respective area. For everywhere you look in southern Ontario you can find bands playing or incorporating elements of ska, dub and reggae. .
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If you're like me, then ska was a major gateway into the world of punk rock. It has been my experience that this in fact holds true for a great many people in my respective area. For everywhere you look in southern Ontario you can find bands playing or incorporating elements of ska, dub and reggae. It seems highly logical then that such a scene would produce a band that could seamlessly blend upbeat ska with fierce punk rock. Indeed such a band exists, and that band is the Flatliners.

Part of what's so impressive about Destroy to Create is in its presentation. On the packaging and production ends, the album both looks and sounds very professional. While the band is currently on Stomp Records, the album is virtually identical to the self-released version they sold at shows. This highlights the care and dedication put into the album in that it was good enough to release without any re-recording.

Now onto what the band actually sounds like. I've had heard people complain that ska as a genre is far too poppy. I can safely say that if there is a problem in that to be found, it is nowhere to be found with the Flatliners. They avoid the issue of tired horn lines by keeping it a simple guitar, drum and bass affair, albeit with some assistance of an organ to add some flavour. The lyrics are of the social conscious, from the general disheartening state of the world around us on "Fred's Got Slacks" to alcoholism on "Macoretta Boozer." You will probably need the lyric booklet though. Vocalist Chris Cresswell doesn't have the most distinctive voice, but he has one of the most rapid-fire deliveries in punk today.

Oftentimes with young band's first albums the sequencing can fail them. The Flatliners escape this pitfall as well. "Fred's Got Slacks," the first real song on the album, sets the general tone for the proceeding 13 songs: quickly strummed upstrokes combined with gruff power chords. It rushes past aided by a likable chorus, but also memorable couplets in the verses and original guitar work to provide a memorable listen. This all culminates before the final chorus with the repeatedly chanted "Hands up! Fists high!" and distant crooning of "We're apathetic, we're so pathetic." It might just be my shared youth with the band, but there is something undeniable about the combined snot and defiance put forth in those lines. The middle of the album keeps things going strong such as "Bad News," which tackles the subject of the negativity inherent in the media today. This song is far more mid-tempo and its verses are built around an upstroke rhythm but feature complimentary melancholic guitar parts which accent the gloomy atmosphere. Rounding out the song is a solid bassline, interesting drum fills and another winning chorus of, "Freight train headed for me / and I can't see a thing / freight train headed for me / freight train of destruction like a punch in the face." A hidden acoustic song acts as a bookend for the album. This song displays how truly tuneful Chris has the potential to be.

Destroy to Create shows a young band full of energy and promise. They are able to craft unique songs with enough variation to keep the listener's interest sustained without having to turn their back on their core sound completely. If you are a fan of ska-punk in the vein of the Code or the Suicide Machines or even just aggressive pissed off punk, you will not be disappointed with this release.



Stream four songs on their Punknews.org Profile.

 

 
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Fine Print: The following comments are owned by whoever posted them. We are not respon sible for them in any way. Seriously.
moistphily (March 11, 2011)

best debut i have ever heard

no_face (March 29, 2007)

i love this album

its monumental for a debut release, itll go down in history in the toronto ska scene

kill_fftl (August 27, 2006)

this is just a fucking great cd i always listen to it

Anonymous (July 20, 2006)

Alex Mack HS is for douchecakes like these. Haha I'm 21.

KungPowza (July 19, 2006)

"If you’re like me, then ska was a major gateway into the world of punk rock."

Quite the opposite for me, actually...

chipsahoycookie (July 19, 2006)

Oh yea, this score is for the intro.

chipsahoycookie (July 19, 2006)

Just downloaded this this morning. Fucking rad. Whoever said this is second best to destruction by definition just may be dead on right.

socrates (July 19, 2006)

great band. I Am Abandoned is sick, but I have to say it sounds very much like an Antimaniax ripoff, maybe it's just a coincidence, but still.

pasha (July 19, 2006)

Incredible album. Do I see a new Rancid?

ozmanx (July 19, 2006)

Not bad.

Anonymous (July 18, 2006)

best ska/punk album since Suicide Machines "Destruction by Definition"

ChokingVictim (July 18, 2006)

I HIGHLY recommend this album to any fans of ska-punk. It's so fucking good. My only complaints are that the bass is too low, and it's pretty damn hard to understand the singer cause he sings so fast. But yeah, it's amazing.

Anonymous (July 18, 2006)

I love ska, more towards the reggae side less on the punk side but i'm definately gonna check this out, (IE: download it from e-mule) sorry flatliners! I'm not so impressed with those lyrics as the reviewer was. They seem pretty standard to me.

I wouldn't say the lyrics are all that impressive they are by no means stupid either. They are decent and it is mroe about the way it is said an the sentiment behind the lyrics.

- APK

Not-to-Regret (July 18, 2006)

I love ska, more towards the reggae side less on the punk side but i'm definately gonna check this out, (IE: download it from e-mule) sorry flatliners! I'm not so impressed with those lyrics as the reviewer was. They seem pretty standard to me.

Canucker (July 18, 2006)

Fucking awesome.

mcgregor107 (July 18, 2006)

damnit, i was working on this review!!.. but this is much better anyway.. i had the same stuff, except i'm impartial to verbosity.

Anonymous (July 18, 2006)

If blistering speed could literally give you blisters, My Hands Are Tied would fuck you up.

Fucking killer album, and great live band.

Mute98 (July 18, 2006)

I Am Abandoned is sooo sick

waytansea (July 18, 2006)

this album kicks ass! Great review as well!

punkshit.org

Anonymous (July 18, 2006)

This album kills. One of my favorates of the year

ryannn (July 18, 2006)

hey this band is from my area (GTA). yah their pretty good. however GTA is full of super-uber fast ska bands who only play music that 15 year olds can dance like idiots too.

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