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The Flatliners - The Great Awake Album Cover

The Flatliners - The Great Awake

Reviewed by
7.4
The FlatlinersThe Great Awake
Record Label: Fat Wreck Chords
Release Date: September 4, 2007
If you’re at all familiar with The Flatliners, you know this Canadian group plays fast punk rock with noticeable (hornless) ska elements. While this is true, their sound on The Great Awake has strayed away from the ska sound and even closer to the fast/punk sound.

Comparisons to The Lawrence Arms and Smoke or Fire are easily drawn by listening to The Great Awake, from the raspy vocals to the straightforward punk rock sound they now play. The Flatliners do, however, have a bit of a funkier edge to them as they have not completely abandoned their ska sound just yet (noticeable in songs such as “This Respirator” and “Mastering the World’s Smallest Violin”). Maybe not so coincidentally, all three of these bands are currently on Fat Wreck Chords. That’s right; the argument that all of the Fat Wreck Chords’ bands sound the same is not hurt by the release of this album.

But the question is, is that necessarily a bad thing?

Not at all. The Flatliners play this type of music exceptionally well, and while they have lost a bit of their originality, they are nonetheless catchy and fun to listen to. Though most of their songs range from the normal two to three minutes, the closing song “KHTDR” lasts seven minutes and never seems to drag on. In fact, it turns out to be one of the better songs on the album. That is a true testament to the amount of skill this band has in keeping a song interesting; I am someone who is used to one to two minute songs and am easily distracted/bored if a song does not do something interesting. The little bit of ska influence left on this album serves to keep songs from growing stale and gives them their own identification.

Though used sparingly, not only do the ska elements keep the music interesting, but they provide the much needed function of lightening things up a bit. The Flatliners’ socially conscious lyrics can get quite dark at times; they cover everything from deciphering their place in the world to remembering those who have passed on. This provides some depth to the album that you might not notice on the first listen, as the lyrics are not always easy to distinguish. That is not to say that The Flatliners do not have plenty of sing-along moments, such as in “Mother Teresa Chokeslams the World” where you can’t help but want to yell “We’re tired of waiting, tired of waiting” along with the rest of the band.

When it comes right down to it, The Great Awake can be summarized fairly easily. Is it the album of the year? Nope. But worth a buy? Almost definitely yes if you are at all into catchy punk rock.
This review is a user submitted review from llmp. You can see all of llmp's submitted reviews here.
 
Displaying posts 1 - 8 of 8
08:48 PM on 09/26/07
#2
markthommiller
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This is by far one of my favorite albums of the year. Some of the nicest dudes, too; they stayed at my house earlier this tour.
09:01 PM on 09/26/07
#3
llmp
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This is by far one of my favorite albums of the year. Some of the nicest dudes, too; they stayed at my house earlier this tour.

Yeah it's definately one of my top ten so far. I actually like it better than the score indicates, I'm a sucker for this type of music...but I was trying to be as fair as possible while scoring.

Also, this is my first attempt at writing a music review...so I would love if anyone has any critiques so that I might improve my writing!

(Thanks to Adrian for the edits/suggestions...the review really is much better now)
10:22 PM on 09/26/07
#4
plain white t's
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great review dude well done, good to see some good punk rock bands getting reviewed here
02:07 PM on 09/29/07
#5
Adrian Villagomez
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Yeah it's definately one of my top ten so far. I actually like it better than the score indicates, I'm a sucker for this type of music...but I was trying to be as fair as possible while scoring.

Also, this is my first attempt at writing a music review...so I would love if anyone has any critiques so that I might improve my writing!

(Thanks to Adrian for the edits/suggestions...the review really is much better now)
No problem. Keep writing - it's nice to have someone covering a genre usually ignored on this site.
05:55 PM on 09/29/07
#6
notdarren
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good review buddy. glad to see some punk reviewed around here.

here is a critique for you to hone your skill: your sentences get a little awkward and wordy near the middle and end of the review. a lot of unnecessary words and things that could be tightened. examples:

"That is a true testament to the amount of skill this band has in keeping a song interesting; I am someone who is used to one to two minute songs and am easily distracted/bored if a song does not do something interesting. The little bit of ska influence left on this album serves to keep songs from growing stale and gives them their own identification."
the semi colon seems awkward there due to the phrasing, the / is a bit unprofessional, and the word "identification" shouldn't be used. i would have spread the first sentence into two separate ones, just picked either bored or distracted (not both), and used identity instead of identification.

"Though used sparingly, not only do the ska elements keep the music interesting, but they provide the much needed function of lightening things up a bit."
the first part is awkward. how about: "The ska elements, though used sparingly, manage to keep the music interesting and lighten the mood" or something to that effect.

"The Flatliners’ socially conscious lyrics can get quite dark at times; they cover everything from deciphering their place in the world to remembering those who have passed on."
again, that semi-colon shouldn't be there, should be a comma. i'd also remove the "they" and just put "covering."

"Almost definitely yes if you are at all into catchy punk rock."
needs some breathing room. put some commas. something like "If you are at all into catchy punk rock, then the answer is almost certainly yes" or something like that.

but again, very good for your first review, and keep improving your craft. feel free to email me (darrenmcleod[at]gmail.com) if you have any questions or anything.
06:47 PM on 09/29/07
#7
llmp
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No problem. Keep writing - it's nice to have someone covering a genre usually ignored on this site.

That's exactly the reason I'm submitting these here rather than Punknews (both of which are quality sites). Though I jump genres, I'm hoping to review stuff here that might get overlooked. Unfortunately this probably won't win me much popularity on this site...but eh.

Plenty more coming. This is working my mind more than college ever has.

good review buddy. glad to see some punk reviewed around here.

here is a critique for you to hone your skill: your sentences get a little awkward and wordy near the middle and end of the review. a lot of unnecessary words and things that could be tightened. examples:

Much appreciated, I've always enjoyed reading your reviews. My writing style does tend to jump from the concise to the overly wordy without warning. I'll be sure to work on this.

great review dude well done, good to see some good punk rock bands getting reviewed here

Glad to hear you liked it. Look for more in the future.
06:13 PM on 09/30/07
#8
Dan1234
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fuck yes this band kiiiiiicks assshole!!!!!!!!!!!1 Rock!!!

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