The Flatliners - The Great Awake (Cover Artwork)
Staff Review

The Flatliners

The Great Awake (2007)

Fat Wreck Chords

The biggest strength and most glowing flaw revolving around the Flatliners' second full-length, The Great Awake?

Sounds like a Fat Wreck Chords album.

Can anyone really blame the Flatliners for amiably performing hardcore-tinged, throat-seared, fast-paced punk rock? If it's played this efficiently, this enjoyably, well, no. Immediate comparisons to the Sainte Catherines and the Lawrence Arms at their most straightforward are terribly inevitable, but luckily for this Canadian quartet, they're well in the company of that blessing of a phrase: "What they do, they do well."

The Flatliners have also reared way back on the ska riffs, in effect creating a pretty pure punk rock album. They're here and there, subtly touching up "...And the World Files for Chapter 11" and providing a solid foundation for "Mastering the World's Smallest Violin." But for the most part, The Great Awake relies on every gravelly sung line, which is delivered with conviction and energy, pulling in the listener for a timespan that more often than not is likely to incite singing along, the words well-enunciated or not. And plenty of punctual, fist-pumping backups only add to the rousing efforts. When group shouts repetitively holler "we're tired of waiting!" in "Mother Teresa Chokeslams the World," it's pretty irresistible, and then they follow up it with some immediate forbidden beats for "This Is Giving Up?" Shit, good work boys.

The Great Awake isn't exactly mind-blowing, but it's damn well-performed, damn well infectious and provides some insight as to why these four young'uns north of the border have received so much attention.

July! August! Reno!
...And the World Files for Chapter 11
Mother Teresa Chokeslams the World
These Words Are Bullets