Canada's Flatliners play aggressive but melodic old-school, pre-hardcore punk rock songs, enlivened with the occasional dubby bassline or inverted ska rhythm.
Comparisons to London Calling, Sandinista!, early Members
, or the Ruts
are more apt than more overtly reggae-influenced acts like the Specials
. After forming the band in Toronto, Ontario in 2002, singer and rhythm guitarist Chris Cresswell, lead guitarist Scott Brigham, bassist Jon Darbey, and drummer Paul Ramirez gigged across Canada's D.I.Y. punk circuit for several years, contributing tracks to various compilations before finally recording their debut album, Destroy to Create. Originally self-released, Destroy to Create was picked up for full North American distribution by Stomp Records
in the fall of 2005. Touring followed the record's release and in spring 2007, the Flatliners announced their signing to California-based Fat Wreck Chords
for U.S. and worldwide (except Canada) releases. The label switch marked a change in the Flatliners' sound, as they turned more distinctively pop-punk for 2007's Great Awake and 2010's Cavalcade. 2013's Dead Language saw the band honing their years of collective playing for a stripped-down and intensely powerful sound that earned them a Juno nomination in 2014. For their next release, 2015's Division of Spoils, Fat Wreck
issued a two-disc compilation of the Flatliners' various 7" singles, rarities, and covers, culled from the previous ten years. 2017 saw the release of the band's fifth studio LP, Inviting Light. ~ Stewart Mason & Timothy Monger, Rovi