Inviting Light - The Flatliners
Artist: The Flatliners
Album: Inviting Light
Genre: Punk Rock
Review by Nicole Roberts
Canadian punk rock band The Flatliners have offered up their fifth studio album, the follow up to their popular 2013 release Dead Language and their successful 2010 album Cavalcade. Their new album, Inviting Light, is out via Rise Records and it's apparent from the start that it's a departure from their usual formula. The album does take a little bit to get off the ground, with lead track ‘Mammals’ proving a softer and slower opener to the album than we’re accustomed to, but it doesn’t take long for the energy of the album to pick up.
What I like about this album is not only the maturity you can hear in their songwriting, but also the diversity in sounds that they’ve nailed. Take ‘Unconditional Love’ for example. The track has a bluesy, sultry, intoxicating vibe to it. It slows it right down and is a huge departure from the manic energy we usually get from the band. Compare it then to ‘Burn Out Again’, which contains vocals that have a vaguely country twang to them, and a broody guitar bringing it together. You can even then compare that to ‘Chameleon Skin’, which has a wildly different vibe to what we’re used to. You could almost categorise it as an indie track, but with a rougher edge.
I am quite a fan of Chris Cresswell’s vocals, and I do think that they stand up on this album. His ability to adapt to any style of music is commendable, and they always seem to have a gritty quality to them, even when the music takes a softer, more mellow turn. Musically, the entire band seem polished and more refined, which some fans may love, some may hate.
This album, while quite different than what we’re used to, is still solid. Fans who are used to their grittier punk/ska sound might be a little disappointed, but only if they go into it expecting another angst ridden repeat for their earlier material. If you go into the album not comparing it to the rest of the catalogue, however, and instead treat it as if it’s a stand-alone release, you may like it a lot more. Sure, there will be a lot of people who don’t like that they’re really exploring different musical directions and influences, but who likes bands who churn out the same record 50 times either?
3.5 out of 5 stars.
Inviting Light is out now via Rise Records
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