Music To Eat Lunch To – The Flatliners – The Great Awake; The Loved Ones – Build and Burn

Music To Eat Lunch To – The Flatliners – The Great Awake; The Loved Ones – Build and Burn

Release date: September 2007

Label: Fat Wreck Chords

Tracks: 12

Rating: 10

Introducing the Band:

Chris Cresswell – Vocals and Guitar; Scott Brigham ? Guitar; Jon Darbey ? Bass; and Paul Ramirez ? Drums

The Flatliners are a four-piece punk band from Toronto who were picked up by Fat Mike and the Fat Wreck Chords label after their 2005 debut record, Destroy to Create, and now that the boys are all out of high school they’ve got the time they need to dedicate to their music. During the recording of the 2005 album, The Flatliners were still high school kids looking for a break; their release with Stomp Records led to touring across Canada and the United States with bands like Bigwig, Bad Religion, and No Use for a Name. Now that Fat Wreck Chords has picked them up, they’ve embarked on an extensive U.S. and European tour with NOFX, the Loved Ones, No Use, and myriad other great punk bands.

Judging from The Great Awake, The Flatliners and Fat Wreck Chords were made for each other. Cresswell has mastered vocals that are reminiscent of Tim Armstrong while Brigham, Darbey, and Ramirez have perfected both the punk and ska beats; ska features largely throughout the record without making it feel too light and inconsequential. The stars of the album are ?Eulogy,? ?Mastering the World’s Smallest Violin,? ?. . . And the World Files for Chapter 11,? and ?This Respirator,? all of which showcase an unrelenting talent for hardcore punk and old school ska that disguises the youth of the band members.

The tracks also cover a wide range in terms of lyrical purpose: ?Eulogy? embraces the death of a loved one with a positive attitude and the will to carry on:

The sun shows no mercy this morning
I’m staring thin-eyed as the rolling ground comes to a halt
A heart once close has stopped beating
But its memory lives forever
And your blurry eyes will make some sense of this

You will always be remembered, you will be celebrated

You will never be forgotten, these tears still haven’t faded

?Mastering the World’s Smallest Violin? is the classic punk song; its lyrics speak about tearing the world apart and questioning your own role in the chaos. Similarly, ?. . . And the World Files for Chapter 11? focuses on societal greed and the uselessness of only taking what you need when the government asks more and more from you. This is such an amazing record in terms of musical prowess, lyrical meaning and traditional punk/ska status that I’d go so far as to compare it directly to the epitome of the genre: the Clash’s London Calling. Buy it. Or better yet, get onto the Fat Wreck Chords website and get yourself in the crowd at one of the shows this year if You’re in the area?it’ll be such a worthwhile trip!

Release date: February 5, 2008

Label: Fat Wreck Chords

Tracks: 10

Rating: 8

Introducing the Band:

Dave Hause – Guitar and Vocals; Dave Walsh ? Guitar; Michael Sneeringer ? Drums; and Chris Gonzalez ? Bass

Build and Burn is the third album from The Loved Ones, and their second release with Fat Wreck Chords. Since 2006’s Keep Your Heart the band lost its original bassist but cemented the current lineup after the breakup of the Explosion last year, which freed up touring guitarist Dave Walsh and fill-in bassist Chris Gonzalez. The result of the upheaval is actually a tightly knit and well-functioning band who admittedly feel more comfortable playing together than ever, according to the Fat Wreck Chords bio.

The title of this record is significant because every track has been written in accordance with this theme of building and burning, or what Hause feels is that innate human pull between creation and destruction. The phrase ?build and burn? occurs in a few of the songs and keeps pulling you back to the main idea of the record.

Build and Burn is really a soft, modern interpretation of the punk music that all the band members hold in such high regard. They admit that in writing the songs they were forced to let go of musical labels and just let the creativity flow as truthfully as it could, and in doing so The Loved Ones have nestled into the comfortable listening zone of bands like No Use for a Name. Lyrically speaking, the record is focused on personal emotional battles and this is never better expressed than in songs like ?I Swear,? ?Brittle Heart,? and ?Sarah’s Game.? ?I Swear? is one of the most memorable tracks on the album, sticking out because of its simple yet completely heart-wrenching lyrics:

I’m sweating all alone here in the dark
Are you sleeping soundly all the nights we spend apart?
We knew this was a gamble from the start
And now I’m trying everything just to keep your heart

I’ll love you till the end
What I live and what I learn
What we build and what we burn
I’ll love you till the end

The Philadelphia band is currently on an American tour in support of Build and Burn, with a full itinerary ending at the Belgian Groezrock Festival in May. They share tour dates with The Gaslight Anthem, Mexican Disaster Squad, the Flatliners, and Cobra Skulls.

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