Anti-Flag have been flying the revolutionary flag of mainstream anarchy since ‘Die For Your Government’ debuted in 1996, and are still burning brightly coming into the release of milestone album number ten.
‘American Spring’ presses the same buttons as all of their previous material, but the passion is still in the heart of the band, and the music reflects their ever-present attempt to make the world a better place. The record serves as a great follow-up to their 20 year anniversary, and shows that they have plenty more to contribute to the punk scene.
A new home on Spinefarm Records isn’t enough to send Anti-Flag down a new political path or genre change, and who would want that? Lead single, ‘Fabled Word’, is another gang-shouting anthemic exploration of the band’s political stance, while ‘Brandenburg Gate’ uses their pop influenced style of infectious punk, and even gets Rancid and Operation Ivy legend Tim Armstrong along for the ride.
Over the last two decades, the band have moulded their tough outlook on life to create some literal pop-punk songs that stand the test of time, and these ‘American Spring’ tracks follow in the footsteps of the band’s past success.
Sometimes the serious politics can take a step back to pen a good ol’ punk rock song as ‘Break Something’ proves; a fast-paced sing-a-long track which needs no overthinking or deep, meaningful explanation. Justin Sane holds the vocal territory with ease, and the repetition feels fun and welcome and widely avoids being unimaginative and tiresome.
The quick tempo suits the strengths of Anti-Flag as ‘The Great Divide’ sounds tight and exciting, with Chris #2 jumping in with his usual back-up screams, and the particularly short ‘To Hell With Boredom’ keeping the listener on their toes throughout.
A selection of decent tracks and obvious singles to slide into the live set is the best a band like Anti-Flag can ask for at the stage in their career, and ‘American Spring’ fills the criteria, and more. ‘All Of The Poison, All Of The Pain’ is an extremely well thought out song with a killer riff and solo to boot, and should stick to their set list for years. A certain success for the Pittsburgh veterans.
Written by Mike Heath (@MikeBeef)