Album Review: The Flatliners – Division of Spoils

Flatliners_12inch_GatefoldJacketOver the past ten years, Toronto punks The Flatliners have released four studio albums and more EPs than you can shake a stick at. Now they’ve added to this ever-growing back catalogue a 23-track double album of B-Sides and rarities, spanning from their early days up until their latest gull length, Dead Language.

Though the vast majority of these songs have been previously released on various EPs, such as Calutron Girls from their 7 inch split with Make Do and Mend and  Sticky Bastards and This Guy Reads From A Card from the Count Your Bruises 7 inch. However short of owning every EP the band have released, this is the only place to have all the songs in one place. In addition to 4 unreleased tracks: Lifers, Broken Men, Hot Trouble and Sleep Is For Bitches.

To say this album is all over the place is an understatement, however that is not necessarily a bad thing. As few bands have matured as greatly and as quickly as The Flatliners, Division of Spoils features songs from their fast, early and raw ska songs on Destroy To Create such as Spill Your Guts right through to the polished more recent songs, such as Daggers (which god alone knows how it hasn’t found it’s way onto a full length release sooner than this).

Division of Spoils also features a couple of covers, including Southwards from their split with Astpai and not to mention their rendition of Johnny Cash’s Cry, Cry, Cry which makes this an ever stranger collection of songs.

With tracks pulled from the entirety of the Flats’ career, it has the feeling of a greatest hits… minus all the hits. It is largely apparent that this is a collection of B-Sides but b-sides from those tracks (I couldn’t resist sliding that joke in here somewhere) there are a few songs that would fit snugly on a proper release.

Rating: 6 Slices out of 8
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Reminds Me Of: When you branch away from your menu at your pizzaria of choice and find some mighty fine pizzas.

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