I am not even sure I need to write more than the above sentence when talking about The Flatliners most recent release on Fat Wreck Chords. It has been three years since the punk rock band have put out new material and the wait was well worth it.
After making music and hitting the road for most of their 10+ year career, Dead Language really showcases the band in a mature, collective way without missing a beat. Having been on the Fat roster for a good part of their existence (this is their 3rd release on Fat), many music lovers are well aware of them and cherish everything they do.
Opening with “Resuscitation Of The Year”, the album started off strong with the band taking no time to get down to business. With heavy drumming, appropriate gang vocals, and fun guitar playing (that at times reminded me of 90s Fat Wreck songs), I couldn’t help but think that this really was one of the best tracks on the album.
Although carrying a slightly slower tempo, “Birds Of England” was just a solid track to listen to. I really dug the lyrics that hinted about the band’s extensive touring during their career. This is one of those songs I feel would be fun to see the band play live. ”Hounds” was another song that I feel the band would really have fun playing live with all the sporadic shouting and crazy guitar playing.
“Drown In Blood” continued with Chris Cresswell just giving it his all vocally. I was seriously impressed listening to him clear his throat throughout. Just wait till the gang vocals pop in. This song was one of my favorites on the album.
“Sew My Mouth Shut” was the track that really had me thinking to myself how much this band has grown together. Everything just sounded so right on this track and I just loved it when Cresswell crooned “sew my mouth shut so I can’t say a word, just gets me in trouble, trouble I’m not worth.”
The one song on here that I even remotely scratched my head at was “Quitters” and honestly I think it is because it was just a lot to take in. At just over 2 minutes, I think song could have been stretched out in some parts. Overall, still a good jam, but there were a couple of drumming moments that seemed overly compressed.
“Brilliant Resilience” closed down the album with as much fury as the opener did. Once again the gang vocals were fun to listen to. Non-stop drumming, fun guitar playing, and of course Cresswell doing what he does best.
I will say that Dead Language is no Calvicade, but it is damn close and who knows, maybe after I listen to it about 15 more times, I’ll change my opinion. Still, I’m pretty sure The Flatliners were not looking to repeat Calvicade, but rather continue forward with it. For a band that started more of a ska band and then changed their sound because they wanted to, I would have to say they are matured and exactly where they want to be. Dead Language really proves that.
Check out this video for “Drown In Blood”: