Sound — 10
After releasing their first two LP's ("Destroy to Create" and later "The Great Awake") The Flatliners have yet again changed their sound as a whole. Moving from the fast and screaming in-your-face ska-punk of "Destroy to Create" and through the still in-your-face but more punk oriented "The Great Awake", "Cavalcade" represents the ultimate maturation of The Flatliners sound. This album is the best sounding recording they have released to date, with Cresswell's voice being recorded as brilliantly as possible. The guitars still have a gritty punk sound to them, the bass has a fuller thicker sound on many songs, and the drums have finally lost their 'flat' sound from the previous two albums. As, Chris Cresswell and the Flatliners have always said, this album again is written from life experiences and this album yet again proves the proficiency that The Flatliners write with. From the drinking binges of "Monumental" to the tearing apart of family in "Here Comes Treble" to the passing of a loved one in "He Was A Jazzman" the Flatliners show their prowess writing through the hardest times. The introductions in the some of the songs are quite interestingly placed especially before "Shithawks" the olde English man saying "Okay we're heavy metal okay? Heavy metal, heavy metal, heavy metal," and the immediate sound of the crack of a snare right into this song is great. Starting with the hard hitting "The Calming Collection" through slightly slower yet still upbeat songs, seeing the in your face fourth track of "Here Comes Treble" bringing us to a grinding halt at "He Was A Jazzman" and then aurally kicking you in the face with "Shithawks"which is contrasted immediately by the more upbeat song "Monumental" through greats next and moving finally into the pop-punk sounding intro of "New Years Resolution", this album not only has great songs, but features them in an astoundingly great order.
Lyrics — 9
This album shows the best lyrics that Chris Cresswell and The Flatliners have come up with to date. From the drinking binges of "Monumental" to the tearing apart of family in "Here Comes Treble" to the passing of a loved one in "He Was A Jazzman" the Flatliners show their prowess writing through the hardest times. The screaming, raspy intro of "Calming Collection" stating 'Collect your head, collect yourself, collect your severance, What on earth will you tell the wife and kids? You pace the hallway until your paranoia peels off your feet" moving through to one of the best lyrics of all time to begin a song with on "Here Comes Treble" 'I can't wait to show you what a jaded f*ck I've become, I'm officially finished singing about some better way right through to the most catchy song on the album "Monumental" in the third verse, Chris sing some of the best most thought out lyrics "Greet the world with a poker face, Through empty bottles in a haze, They won't suspect a thing now will they? Itemize your life in a panicked state, So you can sleep at night, And dream about never turning old and gray, Catching my breath now seems as useless as airplane conversations, 'cause I enjoy toiling in all of my frustration" In this album Cresswell's singing skills have also improved as is greatly showcased on the song "Liver Alone" as his voice ascends higher, seemingly floating through pitches as he sings 'I'll force these feet to move and I feel my liver bleed' (I actually feel like he says burn at the end). Of note as well is the addition of "A Wilhelm Scream"s Nuno Perreira to the album on the track "Shithawks". Nuno's lower and raspy voice complements Cresswell's very well and greatly adds to the song. Chris Cresswell's singing and lyrical prowess has improved over the course of the years and is especially seen on this album, and has proved once again that Cresswell is one of today's best punk singers out there.
Overall Impression — 10
Overall this album deserves to be shot out there as a great album, one of the best of 2010. It deserves every merit it receives from reviewers. I honestly could have gone on and on in the lyrics section listing great lyrics from the album, but feel that listeners and newcomers should check them out for themselves! (My apologies for the extremely long lyric listed for Monumental, I felt that it all needed to be there) I have a great deal of trouble picking favourite or 'best' songs on this album but my personal favourite songs are: "Here Comes Treble", "He Was A Jazzman", "Shithawks", and "Monumental", though to be honest, I wish I could just list them all. This album for me works so very well because of the contrast throughout the songs and how they flow into each other so well. If this album was stolen, I would be downright unbelievably pissed, but immediately find myself happy knowing I could buy another copy to help this group of guys out more for such a great album. A friend of mine borrowed it to rip it to 'test the waters' and while it was gone I HAD to make myself another copy to listen while my retail copy was gone. I have probably listened to this album everyday since buying it last summer, sometimes listening through the whole album multiple times in a single day, and it doesn't show signs of stopping. In all honesty, I hate when reviewers give albums (or anything for that matter) near perfect, or perfect scores, there had to be something about the product they were not unbelievably fond of, but this album has absolutely done it for me. This has been my absolute favourite album of 2010, and I find myself coming back to it all the time, through old favourites and new albums, I always have come back to "Cavalcade". A big thank you to "The Flatliners" for writing and recording such a fantastic album!