The Flatliners - Cavalcade (Cover Artwork)

The Flatliners

The Flatliners: CavalcadeCavalcade (2010)
Fat Wreck Chords

Reviewer Rating: 3.5
User Rating:

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

iTunes StoreAmazon

"Live through, live strong / Carry on and on and on / No more false-start life at traffic lights." The Flatliners ?? "Carry the Banner"

On their third full-length, Cavalcade, the Flatliners deliver more energetic punk rock in the vein of Smoke or Fire, Dead to Me and Lost City Angels. The vocals are gruff, the tempos are quick and the tunes are all about drinkin' and failin'. The difference lies in the tone, though. Flatliners never wallow in pity, making Cavalcade an awfully hopeful record, even if it deals with topics like economic disparity and familial strife.

Like 2007's The Great Awake, the group's ska influences are severely turned down, with only "He Was a Jazzman" and one section in "Shithawks" showing any semblance of reggae rhythms. Nowadays, the group's punk is a little more pure. Drunk Midwestern punks are gonna love this stuff, as they should. These songs are rapid-fire rabble-rousers.

The opening two-hit combo of "The Calming Collection" and "Carry the Banner" is so effective that the band would be wise to maintain that order live. The two songs combine to form five minutes of really awesome, "up with people" punk. "Bleed" keeps the good vibes going, while "Here Comes Treble" pauses to apologize to alienated relatives. Chris Cresswell's gravelly vocals sell every line.

Admittedly, Cavalcade drops off a little in its second half. There's nothing wrong with more Lawrence Arms-ish rockin', but with tunes as fine as "The Calming Collection" and "Here Comes Treble" waiting in the front, it's tempting to skip back to the beginning over and over. Maybe it's the record's running time. Forty minutes is slightly too long for this style, but the 12 tracks presented here are all so fine that any editing would just start fights among listeners (although I would've cut "Sleep Your Life Away." Discuss). Cavalcade should make fans want to choose life, make love to the moon and kiss a grizzly right in front of his mama. Or at least drive slightly faster than normal. It's that kind of a feel-good album.


People who liked this also liked:
The Menzingers - Chamberlain WaitsThe Lawrence Arms - Oh! Calcutta!The Gaslight Anthem - The '59 SoundThe Menzingers - On the Impossible PastAgainst Me! - is Reinventing Axl RoseThe Gaslight Anthem - American SlangThe Gaslight Anthem - Sink or SwimAgainst Me! - As The Eternal CowboyIron Chic - Not Like ThisThe Lawrence Arms - The Greatest Story Ever Told

Please login or register to post comments.What are the benefits of having a Punknews.org account?
  • Share your opinion by posting comments on the stories that interest you
  • Rate music and bands and help shape the weekly top ten
  • Let Punknews.org use your ratings to help you find bands and albums you might like
  • Customize features on the site to get the news the way you want.
Fine Print: The following comments are owned by whoever posted them. We are not respon sible for them in any way. Seriously.
LiveFastDiarrhea (April 24, 2013)

This record is amazing

FriendOfTheShow (January 16, 2013)

This album will prove to be a punk rock classic. They've set their standards pretty god damn high for their next release...

hbwlons (November 11, 2012)

Usually i dont like the most "pop" song on the record but "monumental" is a great tune.

mindyourkeepers (October 21, 2012)

one of my absolute favorite albums. this band never ceases to turn my frown upside down.

AustinATX (September 3, 2012)

This just in: Cavalcade still slays.

chuzwuzza (July 28, 2012)

Great album, tracks 3 and 6 are incredible.

krumpetmuncher (May 21, 2012)

This album gives me that old fashioned feeling....like I just want to FIST PUMP the shit out of everything!!!

AmateurChemist (March 21, 2012)

New Years Resolution gives me goosebumps a year later and counting

bowlercap (January 23, 2012)

This is the best punk rock album since Searching for a Former Clarity. It's one of the few albums that I can listen to every song without limits.

davetfs (November 26, 2011)

its fucking amazing how much replay value this has.

gregrussian (October 3, 2011)

This album joined a small cluster of albums of which I cherish every last song.

bakedtoast (October 1, 2011)

There is nothing wrong with the second half of this album. Musically, it is a dream, and lyrically it is pure. I guess I can say that for the entire album.

AustinATX (June 6, 2011)

Probably my favorite record to come out since As the Eternal Cowboy or The Empire Strikes First. One of the best new bands to happen to punk rock in a decade and great guys to boot. I wish nothing but the best for them.

Levendus (May 28, 2011)

For the record I love the second half of this album, the first half kicks you in the nuts but the second half gives you time to recover and just let the awesome music wash over my pimply face

ak3punk (December 30, 2010)

Album of the year!!!

whatchokesbegin (December 10, 2010)

This is my favorite record so far this year, followed closely by The Menzingers, Gaslight and Crime In Stereo.

devianter (November 24, 2010)

definitely in top 10 this year. top 5 i'd say. 3 and half stars ? omg Jelone.

gang_green (November 20, 2010)

solid as fuck album

Nevermind (October 28, 2010)

one of the best punk rock album this year for sure!

OfCourse (October 21, 2010)

Love the album...freaking rockkks! Came across an interesting interview with vocalist Chris Creswell. This canuck seems like a great guy: http://www.theinertia.com/music-art/interview-giveaway-the-flatli ners/

franky_franc (August 31, 2010)

This is a fucking Kick-ass album.. tthree star and a half??? Three star and a HALF??? THREE FUCKING STAR AND A HALF??? People like you kill the punk rock.. this band is one of the very last who still play good punk rock with originality!!. Now for the people asking theirself if it is a good idea to put 12$ this record: the Answer is Fuck YEAH !!!.. what??.. what are you doin?? stop reading this stupid comment written by a freak and do something intelligent : Buy this Record!

Levendus (August 20, 2010)

I thought Chamberlain Waits was the best thing this year, then I found RVIVR.

Calvalcade might knock both of those out of position though. sooo good. It's like it's made up of every other band I love but still keeps it fresh.

Wolfshour (August 12, 2010)

didnt like it first few listens but definitely grew on me now i know every word of every song so i consider it an amazing album..plus Nuno pereira from A Wilhelm Scream which is one of my favourite punk bands is a guest on Shithawks!! 10/10

drugmoney (July 22, 2010)

i haven't stopped listening to this album since i got, seriously, i listen to it everyday. better than chamberlain waits? i think so!!

boy_eats_world (July 15, 2010)

The Flats can't write a bad record. Or song. Long live The Flats!

strikeeverywhere666 (July 15, 2010)

this record is fucking epic... Def. my favorite of them.

bish (June 6, 2010)

didnt expect flatliners to be my favourite album of this year but it really is looking that way, the more you listen to this album the better it gets

defianceohioequalslove (May 31, 2010)

This album could wake the dead. 9/10 stars. Easily my favorite punk album of the year - I can't see anything being better than this. I just can't.

I love everything about this band.

sorryicrashedit (May 13, 2010)

as a recording engineer:

i gotta say that this may be one of the best sounding punk albums i've ever heard recorded. 'bleed' really shows it off. the drums are massive, and his wood snare sounds like a wet dream. the kick drum has a fundamental oomph and not just click, which is so common with (fast punk) bands in this genre. he's really talented too, with heavy hands. the guitars have real gut; they're loud as fuck while maintaining remarkable string clarity. the vox are minimally processed and maintain dynamic, which is pretty important for this band more than most. background vox are parallel compressed and sound big. not a lot of harmonies going on, but his vocal style doesn't lend to it. you don't miss it.

the only instrument that got a raw deal was the bass guitar, which still sounds okay..but it's hard to have such a good kick sound and powerful guitar and still get a "wound" sans-amp bass sound, ala Rancid. the bass is audible, bassy and identifiable as such, and there is note definition; and it's not like this guy is Flea, so his 8th notes are coming through loud and low.

this album makes it that much harder to listen to Smoke or Fire's 'This Sinking Ship', which is in somewhat of the same vein...and horribly, horribly mixed and over-produced.

this is, for certain, my new reference cd for mixing. not to mention that it's a pretty bad ass album. sorry for such a weird review, but if you're into music production at all, this is a work of art.

Alien (May 4, 2010)

I cannot stop listening to this over everything else.

YLDmidweststyle (April 29, 2010)

The review was good and I agreed with everything except the first part of the album is better than the second. I think they are both as good and tracks like filthy habits,monumental, and liver alone are better than the calming collection and carry the banner but this is just my opinion I love this band and this record.

tittus (April 25, 2010)

After listening to this through, I put on destroy to create and remembered why i love this band.

Banger (April 22, 2010)

My favorite album so far this year. I've been listening to this on a loop for a couple of weeks now.

punker001 (April 21, 2010)

Amazing album, faster than the last one! awesome

daveTFS (April 20, 2010)

I've listened to this album start to finish about 20 times. Definitely one of my favorites already. The Calming Collection, Here Comes Treble, Monumental and Count Your Bruises are the strongest tracks in my opinion. Bleed, Shithawks and Liver Alone are up there too.

sugarcoatedsour (April 18, 2010)

The last 3 songs on this record are by far the best 3 songs on the record. So this talk about the second half of the album dropping off is ridiculous. Terrible review.

Swildering_mimzy (April 18, 2010)

Really? i thought every song after the one you praised: "the Calming Collection" were the best songs on the album and the top 11 songs ive ever heard. bad review.. where is your head

smarttrigger (April 17, 2010)

Great album !

Grue (April 17, 2010)

Actually, I'll up my rating to 3/5 because Shithawks owns.

macbethmystery (April 17, 2010)

Constantly listening to this. Haven't been into an album that much since Supporting Caste. I completely dig the gang vocals (D4 rules).

Scruffy (April 15, 2010)

Great fucking album. I've never really dug these guys that much, before the Cynics EP that came out last fall. This is better than that. So far, this year, it's only beaten out by White Crosses, and maybe This Addiction or Chamberlain Waits. Seriously, this is a great album, and they deserve all that it will bring them.

half_head (April 15, 2010)

love it.

88fl_rules (April 15, 2010)

It's ok but nothing special....

88fl_rules (April 15, 2010)

Nothing special....

Grue (April 15, 2010)

Very disappointing album, not digging it at all.

jacktheskipper (April 15, 2010)

No mention of "Monumental" makes this review invalid ...

damnitsderek (April 14, 2010)

This album is fucking terrific. End of story.

likeaparasite (April 14, 2010)

I love that "Sleep Your Life Away" has that quote from "The Princess Bride" in it. It's such a brilliant idea to put that line at the end of a song...especially at the end of a song that has a lot of dark and really negative ideas. I agree with the reviewer about it, though. That's why the song disappoints me so much. Such a great use of a movie quote, wasted on a song that doesn't quite hold together. It starts out okay, but I get sick of it by the end. Too much screaming. I also think that "I just can't listen to sad songs anymore, I get fuckin' bored!" are the best lyrics on the album and the way they're yelled out is terrific.

Blackjaw_ (April 14, 2010)

The band released a fake leak of the album with all those weird tracks a month or two ago. I'm guessing, like a lot of bands, they didn't want the entire album to be streaming here so people would be encouraged to buy it instead of just listening to the stream all the time. Instead of just not posting the last 3 tracks, they went the funny route and posted 3 weird ones in their place.

fuckyourstupidband (April 14, 2010)

good album, the cats were funny but not needed, i enjoyed it all the same

Deadpan (April 14, 2010)

I got confused when the review talked about cutting "Sleep Your Life Away", because I thought "Why wouldn't anyone want to cut it? It's just a bunch of animal noises", and then the other two tracks happened. So I guess that's pretty funny.

Jeevz (April 14, 2010)

Nice album stream. You might want to post the non joke version though. That Final Countdown cover rocks man, and those meowing cats? Brilliant! They've never sounded better.

Alien (April 14, 2010)

hahah Deadpan, I think they messed it up.

Deadpan (April 14, 2010)

Saying that, what the fuck is going on with the last 3 tracks? Is the Punknews stream just messed up, or are they seriously just one track of dogs and cats making noises, another of noise, and a really bad cover of The Final Countdown? Because they just ruin the album.

Deadpan (April 14, 2010)

Also, this album seems pretty cool.

Deadpan (April 14, 2010)

Lol at the dude complaining at a thought out analysis of records in reviews. If you're not interested in reading a considered critique, why even bother looking at reviews? Without that it's just some jackass spouting unsubstantiated drivel... oh, wait.

punker001 (April 14, 2010)

love this band! top 10 this year for sure!

telegraphrocks (April 14, 2010)

This thing is almost perfect.

Blackjaw_ (April 13, 2010)

I'm not even saying we don't like it as much as each other. Your actual review makes it seem like we like it about the same. I already have 5 albums above this one on my list for 2010. I would just give all the top ten (and eventual twenty or so) 9s or 10s, even if I like some of them way more than the others. I'm saying your score seems to be pulled out of the air, and if you consider all the crappy music out there, there is no way it's only better than 70% of it.

Though I was thinking about this a bit, and I thought... maybe instead of how I always thought all the albums I really like need to be 9s and 10s, it could be that all the albums I don't like are just 0s, and then the albums I like are scored only relative to the other albums I like.

I dunno, in the end I still just say fuck review scores, period. They just confuse the hell out of me because I think about them too much. There's no logical way to go about doing them.

No worries everyone, this will be my last annoying post in these comments. :P

Jelone (April 13, 2010)

I'm sorry I like this album but do not like it as much as you! I'm sorry I said nice things that were not nice enough for your liking!

woodprop (April 13, 2010)

My favourite album so far this year. The first few songs are decent, but I love the second half. I can't stop listening to Shithawks, Sleep Your Life Away and Liver Alone.

Extra points for the Trailer Park Boys reference.

Ak3punk (April 13, 2010)

Best album this year. Great guys too. Met them the other night at the show in Calgary, can't say enough good things about this album or this band. I hope they get fucking huge, they deserve it.

So far my list for the year is:

1. The Flatliners - Cavalcade
2. Alkaline Trio - This Addiction
3. Four Year Strong - Enemy Of The World
4. Crime In Stereo - I Was Trying To Describe You To Someone
5. Against Me - White Crosses

FAskies (April 13, 2010)

I would definatly not cut Sleep Your Life Away easily one of the best on the album, athough I do agree it does slow down in the later half, but at the end it picke right back up

cormstorm (April 13, 2010)

i fucking love this album


FaithIsForFools (April 13, 2010)

"1) What was the band trying to achieve? Were they successful?
2) If applicable, how does it compare to their other material?
3) How does it compare to the output of some of their contemporaries?"

Jesus fuck... seriously? Go fuck yourself. Way to take something as simple as a record waaaaaay too fucking seriously.

Here's a better way to review:
1) Is it good?

Goddamnit, art-student morons.

Cavalcade = 9/10

quickattack (April 13, 2010)

So good, probably my album of the year so far. Shithawks is awesome

inagreendase (April 13, 2010)

I want to see something that explains exactly how albums are scored. Is this just scored relative to all other albums in this subgenre? If so, 7/10 might make sense. If not, I'm still baffled.

It's one sole factor for me: How much I enjoy it. This? 3.5/5. This hardly blows my mind but it's pretty good.

thirtyseconds (April 13, 2010)

I am addicted to this.

exitenglish1208 (April 13, 2010)

i'm also surprised the song "New Years Resolutions" didn't make it into the review in some way, definitely a standout song for me

joe_weasel (April 13, 2010)

backed 100%. even when they are available, i rarely look at ratings and try to focus solely on the review.

for instance, this is a very well-written review, and does in fact display the album in a favorable light... yet everyone seems to be focused on the stars. what if this was pitchfork? isn't a 7/10 regarded as an above average release? rating systems are bullshit. just read the review.

bryne (April 13, 2010)

And while a uniform scoring system makes sense in theory, it'd be nigh impossible for all of us to agree upon its criteria, especially for a site that's completely volunteer-driven. Plus there'd be less debate, which can be a fun part of the whole process.

bryne (April 13, 2010)

I want to see something that explains exactly how albums are scored. Is this just scored relative to all other albums in this subgenre? If so, 7/10 might make sense. If not, I'm still baffled.

Can't speak for everyone obviously, but for me there's no wrong way to score it. Whatever the reviewer feels it should be is what it is. When I review an album, my criteria is usually met by answering these questions:

1) What was the band trying to achieve? Were they successful?
2) If applicable, how does it compare to their other material?
3) How does it compare to the output of some of their contemporaries?

Then I usually account for personal taste, production, etc. I honestly don't pay much attention to the scores; I feel like a lot of our commenters put far too much emphasis on them. In this case, I feel the words in the review match the score well enough. No qualms here, and Brian obviously didn't have any reservations either.

TSOL (April 13, 2010)

Just because there is alot of shitty music in the world, it doesn't automatically make good punk bands disco's 8-10. I would hate it if every org band automatically got an 8, 9, or 10 album review. What would be the point in reading them, if everyone rated them compared to the worst bands in the wordl?

shark-e (April 13, 2010)

I refuse to accept that this record has a lower score than the Dum Dum Girls.

Blackjaw_ (April 13, 2010)

Anything that provokes Blackjaw's annoying schtick is usually at least a half star less than what he says it should be, so I'd give it a 4 (how's that for arbitrary?).

Lol true. I would just give most of the albums I listen to on a regular basis 8-10 stars. I don't see how you could say "this is pretty good" or have a review as positive as this one, but then say 30% of music in the world is better than it. Think about all the fucking garbage out there. I want to see something that explains exactly how albums are scored. Is this just scored relative to all other albums in this subgenre? If so, 7/10 might make sense. If not, I'm still baffled.

bryne (April 13, 2010)

Definitely better than their previous material. Anything that provokes Blackjaw's annoying schtick is usually at least a half star less than what he says it should be, so I'd give it a 4 (how's that for arbitrary?).

Good review as always, Joe.

joe_weasel (April 13, 2010)

1. a belief or judgment that rests on grounds insufficient to produce complete certainty.
2. a personal view, attitude, or appraisal.
3. the formal expression of a professional judgment: to ask for a second medical opinion.

Used in a sentence:
This review is a fucking opinion.

TahoeJeff (April 13, 2010)

I enjoyed this a lot more than the last record

Alien (April 13, 2010)

This album is sick. I mean, it is what it is.
But these guys are playing this kind of music better than anyone else I think.
Should get a 4.

Piata (April 13, 2010)

Awesome album. Definitely a grower and I love the positive lyrics, even when talking about usually negative subjects. My favourite line on the disc: "I just can't listen to sad songs anymore, I get fucking borrreeeddd!"

My only wish is that they threw a bit more skunk in there.

Why did this only get 3.5 stars? The Great Awake had similar treatment and was also a very solid album. Guess Flatliners can continue being one of the most under appreciated bands out there.

exitenglish1208 (April 13, 2010)

this album is incredible, tied with chamberlain waits right now for album of the year, and for me the only possibility of them being topped is with american slang and that's not a certainty. 3.5 seems real low for such a great album

danperrone (April 13, 2010)

i actually think the second half is as strong if not better than the first. "liver alone" and especially "count your bruises" are great.

eran_zombis (April 13, 2010)

i'm with oldpunker

BloodyWanker (April 13, 2010)

Yea, I am also surprised at no mention about the song 'Monumental' in the review- It's a different type of song for The Flatliners but I think one of the best on the album and of their best overall!

TSOL (April 13, 2010)

@"although I would've cut ??Sleep Your Life Away.? Discuss"

For me that's one of the better songs of the album, it would have been a shame to cut that one.

Cos (April 13, 2010)

"punk rock in the vein of Smoke or Fire, Dead to Me and Lost City Angels"


TSOL (April 13, 2010)

/minus half a star for the annoying as fuck movie excerpts.

That aside, this is on par and probably even a bit better than their last release.

party-animal (April 13, 2010)

Hey Ericaisnotawesome, we'll track you down and have a gang of HIV Positive gorillas face fuck your mother.

thepopeofchili-town (April 13, 2010)

Oh my world, it is ok.

tris (April 13, 2010)

album of the year. anyone else think 'here comes treble' as well as 'new years resolutions' sound like today's empires-era propagandhi?

the reviewer should've probably mentioned that erik, paddy and billy from d4 do backing vocals on 'bleed' and nuno from wilhelm scream does the same on 'shithawks'. oh, and no mention of 'monumental' - THE BEST song on the album? wut.

oldpunkerforever (April 13, 2010)

its fine and good for what it is, nothing more, nothing less. Certainly not everything some people are making it out to be, calm down everyone-oldpunker-

cherrycolarain (April 13, 2010)

And I agree with Blackjaw_, this is definitely a 4.5 album at the very least.

cherrycolarain (April 13, 2010)

I loved it from the second I heard it. I personally wouldn't cut any of the tracks, but if I HAD to it'd be "Count Your Bruises" and even then I'd be pretty negligent to doing so. However, the strongest cut here is definitely "Here Comes Treble", that song is brilliant.

nekel (April 13, 2010)

One of the best album of this year!
As good as the great awake!

hayman (April 13, 2010)

I'm with Blackjaw here, never pay much attention to the scores until I've had a chance to listen to something myself. This will be an album to remeber as far as I've heard and recently saw a live show where they were brilliant. Great stuff.

Blackjaw_ (April 13, 2010)

I would've cut ??Sleep Your Life Away.? Discuss

That's one of my favourite songs on the album. I only would have cut "Liver Alone" and had them do more 'slower' parts, and then it woulda been an even closer to perfect album.

Blackjaw_ (April 13, 2010)

3 and a half stars? oh god no. I bet you listened to this less than ten times, but wouldn't be surprised if it was even less than five. you suck.

honestly, like... I hate that albums are even scored in the first place, I mean does giving this 3.5 not imply that it's only better than 70% of music? Most music in the world fucking sucks. This is awesome. This has to be in the top 5% of music, meaning it should be a 4.75. I know that's not how it works, but the way it does work makes no fucking sense, it's all just arbitrary. Look at the rest of the albums given 3.5 on this site and tell me this isn't better than them.

My butt hurts.

Exclusive Streams


Newest Reviews

Punknews.org Team

Managing Editor

Adam White

Contributing Editors

Kira Wisniewski Brittany Strummer Armando Olivas John Flynn Chris Moran John Gentile Mark Little

Copy Editor

Adam Eisenberg Britt Reiser

Podcast Producer

Greg Simpson


Aubin Paul

ISSN 1710-5366

© Copyright 1999-2013 Punknews.org

Terms of Use Privacy Policy Contact Us About Punknews.org

Other Places to Go