#100wordreview – The Flatliners: “Dead Language” [Music]


At first listen you may think that the new album from The Flatliners lacks the heat of their last, but in a few spins you’ll realise that Dead Language lacks nothing. The variety of tempo and style demonstrated on Cavalcade is replaced by an assured step towards a more consistent and measured sound, which does cause the album to sag as we approach the climactic closers. Still, Chris’s growl has developed into a roar and ensures that none of the tracks feel weak. The album hosts some of the band’s best songs to date and I, for one, am relieved.

#100wordreview – Never Again? The story of the Health and Social Care Act 2012 (Nicholas Timmins) [Book]

I increasingly find politics a bore, even in relation to health and economic policy. Timmins’s Never Again? precludes my usual reaction, providing a lucid and engaging narrative. The story guides us through the Act’s conception, rejection, amendment and assent, identifying the key players from academia and Westminster along the way. The book enables you to leave your political inclinations at the door, and at times I found myself sympathising with Lansley! It also provides a nice overview of the ultimate nature of the Act at the end of its tumultuous journey; something I struggled to figure out at the time.

#100wordreview – Chewing on Tinfoil: “Marrowbone Lane” [Music]


Chewing on Tinfoil aren’t the first punk band in the last few years to graduate from ska beginnings, but Marrowbone Lane could make them a contender for the most successful transition (…The Flatliners?). It isn’t just the Dublin accent that sets this band apart; their rhythm-driven punk style is relatively unique and succeeds in holding together a wide variety of styles and influences. The album swings from energetic punk rock to more sensible pop melodies and indie riffs, folky twangs and the occasional sing along chorus for good measure. Start to finish, there isn’t a wasted track on here.