Anti-Flag are a name I’ve known for a while in the punk world, while never properly listening to their music. They’ve always been on my list of bands to try out, but I just never got around to it, for some reason or other. But now their new album has been released, I had extra incentive to do it, and I dived in head first. All the signs pointed towards this being an album I’d enjoy as well; it’s political, angry punk- similar to Rise Against, my favourite band of all time. Here’s what I thought:
The first thing to notice listening to this album is that, for a punk album, it’s pretty diverse. The album contains similar themes, but they range across a few different styles. These range all the way from typical angry, political punk on songs like’Digital Blackout’, all the way to a style of music I can only describe as ‘angry ska’ on ‘When The Wall Falls’. There’s even a pop-punk-esque song in the shape of ‘Racists’.
But does all this variety diminish the quality of the music, or dilute the message? Well, no, not really. All the styles of music covered in this album feel familiar, and the production adds a bonus polish to make everything fit together better. Scanning through their previous releases, it’s definitely one of their easiest listens, and while a lot of hardcore fans would turn their head at this, I think it’s great, bringing a lot of new fans in and easing them into their earlier music. It definitely worked for me at least!
To conclude, I really enjoyed this album, maybe even more than I expected. After seeing Rise Against before writing this, I’ve been in the mood for angry, outspoken punk, and it definitely fit that bill. Is it the best punk release of the year? Absolutely not, but it’s definitely a solid, catchy record that I’ll definitely be coming back to.
Best songs: Racists, When The Wall Falls, American Attraction