In this day and age of a lot of less-than-great music, thankfully The Flatliners released their gem of an album Inviting Light on April 7th of this year. The album is a bit indie-sounding at times, but that is definitely outweighed by the alternative rock elements of the band. This album is like a variety pack of ass kick. Active since 2002, this is The Flatliners fifth studio album, and with all the upcoming moves these Richmond Hill, Ontario boys will be making, including playing Riot Fest ’17 and hitting a European/UK tour kicking off in Fall of 2017, I don’t think these guys will be flat-lining anytime soon.
Throughout Inviting Light, each instrument keeps to itself and doesn’t shine over or shadow the others too much. For example, Scott Brigham’s guitar isn’t swinging in with long, drawn-out, shitty, or face-melting guitar solos and stealing the show. This is mostly a vocally-driven album with appropriate instrumentation backing it up; the instrumentation is very humble and complimentary to the rest, and kind of gives vibes of Phoenix and even The Strokes. In fact, I would describe this album as a fusion of the two: Phoenix, in regards to its upbeat tendencies, and The Strokes as it has a bit of an old-school fuzz and mud production style and tone. However, what deviates from the comparison to these bands is The Flatliners vocalist Chris Cresswell’s vocal style. It reminds me of a combo of singer Caleb Followill of Kings of Leon and Dave Grohl of…a lot of things…but mostly Foo Fighters. Cresswell’s vocal tone has sexy sorrow backed up with a powerful punch.
There are a few solid first listeners on here that I instantly fell for, including “Burn Out Again” and “Indoors.” However “Chameleon Skin” stood out the most for me; it brings the album’s general intensity down to a soothing tone. It is without drums for the majority of the track, until they power in with a bit of a galloping style, but they still don’t rock the boat too much; the tone changes a little bit, but the mood remains the same.
As mentioned, this album is a variety pack, so don’t be afraid of the album opener “Mammal” and it’s creepy, downer intro. It gets brighter and feel-good down the line.
Written by Keenan Kerr
*edited by Kate Erickson