Flatline Stereo!, Falling Apart At The Seams (2019 Remix) - album review
Wolverhampton band Flatline Stereo! have re-released a remixed version of their debut album Falling Apart At The Seams to celebrate its fifth anniversary.
The former The Ticket Unsigned stars have brought their chunky slice of pop-punk up to speed with modern techniques to give it a grittier and grainier feel akin to the genre.
A lot can happen to an 'underground' band in five years. Influences, circumstances and line-ups can alter multiple times. Directions can switch, drives focus on new goals. So for something they laid down five years ago to still be in their hearts says a lot about their comfort with who they are.
The trio call upon elements of Feeder, Blink 182, Green Day and even Dropkick Murphys in their guitar-driven stompers aimed at getting people (and pints) moving at their live shows.
This is 13 tracks long - a brave step for a fledgling band given their lack of experience. Yet it doesn't feel that long. It's not dragged out beyond the realms of interesting like that relative nobody really wants at the wedding.
The coming-of-age tale Twenty Three Sixty Five encapsulates all of this. Wolves-mad vocalist Leigh Bucknall, whose EP M.A.N.G.O. we absolutely loved last year, echoes Green Day's Billie Joe Armstrong with his style at times, and the Murphys' Al Barr at others with that gravelly undertone like whiskey settling over ice cubes.
Hell Bound is another party song for pumping fists and flinging booze. Thumped along by Dan Gill's bass and Jimmy Stix at the drum kit it on the one hand it captures the exuberance of youth and at the same time stops it becoming a serious rock track.
Whether you love Flatline Stereo! will depend on that feeling of "seriousness", how much it matters to you. The guys that slated the likes of Blink and Sum 41 will probably level the same accusations at this music.
But the house party anthem Drunk Love with its sing-along chorus, the thunderous interludes to Cut The Rope and crescendo walls of sound throughout Barely Breathing show that you don't have to be aiming for Mercury Prizes all the time to write something memorable.
For those of us who missed the album first time round, it's worth saying hello to.
The remixed album can be heard on the Flatline Stereo! Spotify page