After a couple of records on major label RCA Records, Anti-Flag returns to an independent label to release their 7th proper full length, completely self-produced by the band and only mastered by Mass Giorgini.
The new album sounds more like an EP than an album, a little bit like their previous ""A Benefit for Victims of Violent Crime"", but this time all the ten plus one songs have never been released before.
The disc is all about anti capitalism anthems that deal with what is wrong with the world nowadays (religion, suffering, slavery, exploitation of workes and people) and a lot of energy comes out of the stereo, with lots of aggressive punk rhythms and poppy choruses. Basically, after I heard this disc the first time, I wanted to go down in the streets with a molotov. I think this is Anti-Flag should be proud of this result. I am serious.
""Sodom, Gomorrah, Washington D.C. (Sheep In Shepherds Clothing)"" opens the dances: it deals with religion, gods and basically it shows how Marx already knew it all along. It’s quite fast and aggressive, melodic but not as poppy as ""The Economy Is Suffering…Let It Die"", which sounds very catchy, with a simple guitar riff that drive the songs into its verses and choruses (singing along on ""Do you want to live your life as a slave? In chains from the cradle to the grave"" will soon become all fans’ favorite lines at shows). The record then goes on with slower songs as ""The Gre(A)T Depression"", which let me down, it’s a mix between a marching band song and a Green Day ""Minority"" era song (no matter if Greg Attonito of the Bouncing Souls, Tim McIllrath of Rise Against, Wade MacNeil of Alexisonfire, and David McWane of Big D and the Kids Table sing on this one). The real good stuff comes with ""We Are The One"": Eve tough the intro guitar riff was stolen from ""Sold As Freedom"" and the melody from ""Tearing Down The Borders"" (or viceversa?), I must say this song is killer. Back to the ""Terror State"" era for sure: awesme singing alongs and super angry lyrics you will need to sing with your closed fist or with your finger towards the sky. The end of this song, which is the beginning of the following one is the most punk rock attitude I heard on a record in quite a few years. ""You Are Fired (Take This Job, Ah, Fuck It)"" is definitely my song. Even tough it is a minute long, it is super fast, almost crusty, with screams and a direct message to their previous label, which basically is: fuck off, you don’t care about music but about producing ring-tones. Did I already say I love these guys?
Oh yeah, the other songs are good enough but a little but a little bit too slow for my punk guts: ""This Is The First Night"" and ""On Independence Day"" remind me of their major label albums. While ""The Old Guard"" has got the best intro of the whole record, reminiscent of their ""Underground Network"" LP. The 11th and hidden track (supposedly called ""Teenage Kennedy Lobotomy"") is fast, anthemic, almost a joke, but it’s far better than other songs on this LP.
If you want a GOOD punk record to dance to, and that features some reasons to change, this is it. The change starts inside you.