Do you remember that remarkable age back when punk rock served as the playground for a disenfranchised youth desperate to unleash the rage in their bellies and the anthems in their hearts? That age before the multitude of multi-platinum style-over-substance acts sterilized a genre which had been so subversive, intelligent, and dangerous? What happens when obtaining noteworthy Soundscan numbers, competing for choice Warped Tour slots, and aspiring for heavy video rotation replace punk rock's initial tradition of unleashing emotionally charged, community building, and socially critical art? Well, as The Flatliners have shown, such creates the perfect environment in which four Canadian Droogs - having barely attained voting age - can spit out one of those rare uber-snotty, socially-conscious, unrelenting fists-and-middle-fingers-in-the-air punk rock records designed to open eyes, change lives, and pump some much-needed life into the hollow monster which modern punk rock has become.
"An impressive collection of fast-paced ska-punk, Destroy To Create succeeds in creating a sound of its own in a genre crowded with clones. Heavy on the up-strokes but light on the silliness, most of the Flatliners material is rooted more in hardcore chants than ska sing-alongs. Chris Cresswell's vocals sound like they've been simmered in whisky and nicotine for the last decade of his life, but this mature sound, equally demonstrated by the rest of the band, betrays the members' relatively young age." -Sam Sutherland | Exclaim!
Those amongst the press gallery intent on sniffing out an interesting angle need not search for long. Much has already been made of the fact that The Flatliners initially drew the attention of Edge 102's Punk-O-Rama radio program and MuchMusic's sorely-missed Punk Show on the lone strength of a jaw-dropping demo and tireless self-promotion. Their formidable attempt to lend a hand in rejuvenating Toronto's ska-punk community via donating stand-out tracks to the Who Said Ska's Dead? compilation has also been well documented. Even more has been made of the fact that they independently recorded and released their destined-to-be-a-classic debut full length, Destroy to Create, and subsequently found it re-released throughout both Canada and the United States via Stomp Records - to rave reviews, I might add - this past summer. Not bad for a band then made up of seventeen year old high school students, don't you think?
"It is incredibly rare to come across a self-produced, label free CD that is fantastic from start to finish...In a genre where bands seem to blend together and then rise up and melt away a year later, The Flatliners have managed, as often stated, to pull off their own powerful sound creating fast-paced anthemic punk rock songs with intense ska undertones." -Tony the Leper | Spoiled Brats
"Destroy to Create is an album with an abundance of the energy, intelligence and catchiness required to both reinvigorate the genre and serve as an open invitation for all to attend the resurrection...armed with weapons like actual substance and songs so powerful they will give you chills." -Casper Neurotic | Threeohsix.org
Though The Flatliners have shared the stage and/or tour routes with such legendary and trailblazing acts as The Suicide Machines, The Planet Smashers, Catch 22, Bad Religion, Anti-Flag, Big D and the Kids Table, Streetlight Manifesto, and Against All Authority, their debut record stands as the band's most notable accomplishment thus far. Destroy to Create merges the traditional simplicity of back-to-basics two-tone skank-core with skull-shattering street punk, all the while subtly but surely forcing each genre into new and chill-inducing directions. Most importantly, and though Destroy to Create offers a bleak portrait of a generation of apathetic youth encaged by a mind-numbing media culture, it is nonetheless an optimistic call for social awareness and a convincing demand that the crusade to inspire positive change retains its teeth. Destroy to Create will open your eyes, ignite your pulse, bombard you with the sudden desire to smash something and, by album's end, convince you that the first step in winning the battle lies with assembling the troops.
"Destroy to Create boasts a sound that belies the quartet's tender years and bodes very well for the future...one of the best and most tightly disciplined hardcore albums of the year. Very highly recommended." -Rick Anderson | All Music.com
Be it for injecting some direly needed life into a musical genre growing depressingly stale and intellectually dull, or taking a stunningly well-balanced baby-step towards attempting to tear the blindfolds from the eyes of a slumbering generation of potential revolutionaries, The Flatliners are a band which cannot - and will not - be ignored. Would it not be best to spare little time in aligning yourselves accordingly?