Heartless Machine

Written by: PP on 28/06/2014 23:53:58

Belgium has in recent years become a punk rock hotspot in Europe much like Sweden was in the old days, thanks to the surging popularity of the annual Groezrock festival that gathers an all-star punk rock lineup from around the world. Having such a festival around is obviously a huge inspiration in the region, which has manifested in a healthy and productive scene that among others counts the funny no-frills pop punkers The Priceduifkies. Flatcat, who originate from Bruges, are soaked in some of this influence on their third album "Heartless Machine", their first in eight years.

Opening song "Butterface" is basically a melody-by-melody copy of Teenage Bottlerocket's "Bigger Than Kiss", introducing the band to us with tight, aggressive no-frills punk rock riffs and a relentless tempo. It's a bit of an oddity on the album, though, because the rest of the record is drenched in late 90s style Mxpx worship. "Heartless Machine" and "What To Say" are both songs that could've been on "The Ever Passing Moment", whereas a song like "Newborn Son" draws from the same melodicore elements that made No Use For A Name so legendary within the genre. Catchy choruses packed into not-so-polished pop punk production and uptempo stance is how to summarize what's going on throughout the album.

Occasionally the band showcase a darker style sonically to pop punk, which is a far cry from the silly Blink 182 style pop punk or from the emotionally charged tunes by most modern bands in the genre. This is interesting, though NUFAN mastered this so well that any comparisons to them leave Flatcat songs feeling a little underwhelming. It's not that "Heartless Machine" is bad, per se, but we've just heard this same album recorded much better by Mxpx and NUFAN. Still, for the European punk scene, Flatcat wave the flag high enough for me to notice and give them some credit. A solid, if somewhat 'textbook' pop punk album.


Download: Butterface, Heartless Machine, What To Say
For the fans of: Mxpx, Allister, Over It, Screeching Weasel, Midtown, No Use For A Name
Listen: Facebook

Release date 15.02.2014
Persbericht Eye Spy Records

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