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ANTI-FLAG – ‘American Spring’ Review

ANTI-FLAG - American SpringPin back your ears, open up your eyes, get out your flag with the circled ‘A’ and listen to the latest from Pittsburgh’s finest, Anti-Flag. Although they have been at this for over 20 years, they have just released a punk classic and, for me, the best punk album of the year so far.

These boys are political, in your face and they put their money where their mouths are donating cash to Amnesty International and a whole host of other causes. They have challenged the powers that be in America ever since they started in 1993 and this album is best expressed in their own words:-

“American Spring is a tremendously important record for us. Our 10th record. Our first after celebrating our 20th anniversary. It’s the most personal and politically focused record we have ever made. With that in mind it is our goal to share these songs with any who will listen. Our aim is to play every city our band has ever travelled to with these songs. Each show a celebration of those that recognize the importance of moments where we are free to be ourselves. Free from racism, sexism, homo and transphobia, war for greed’s sake and bigotry of all kinds. This European fall tour is just the beginning.
The American Spring Is Now.”

Yes, they are on an extensive world tour right now and simply put, they are not to be missed live – check out the tour dates here: http://www.anti-flag.com/tour-dates/

So, the very cleverly named ‘American Spring’ suggesting that Arab states don’t hold a monopoly on oppression and turning the media in on itself opens up with the magnificent ‘Fabled World’ – an onslaught of guitars, typical Anti Flag dual vocalists with a strong political message…if you think these guys are dialing it in with an eye towards retirement, ‘Fabled World’ will quickly disabuse you of any such notions – it’s angry, it’s raw, it’s tight and it’s brilliant!

As track three opens up, it’s like Joe Strummer has been reincarnated – ‘Brandenburg Gate’ featuring Tim Armstrong of Rancid is a punk classic. It reminds me of when I first heard ‘No Government’ by Anti-Pasti….you knew that you were listening to a song that would provide an encore moment live for years to come. I don’t often say this but buy the album for this track alone.

But, it’s not a one song album, ‘Sky is Falling’ comes next and it’s another powerful effort. In fact, there is not a filler track on the whole album – it’s as though Anti Flag have looked at all of the shit going on in the world and they have grown angrier, more political and they have grown as a band able to deliver this anger.
It’s the punk album of the year so far. Buy it and see them – you will not be disappointed. As they say on track 12 of 15, “To Hell with boredom” – It’s political, it’s powerful, it’s Pittsburgh and it’s punk as it should be. Anti Flag, take a bow, you’ve recorded a masterpiece.

 

Stumpy – Punk Online

 

Track Listing

  1. Fabled World
  2. The Great Divide
  3. Brandenburg Gate
  4. Sky is Falling
  5. Walk Away
  6. Song for your Enemy
  7. Set Yourself on Fire
  8. All of the Poison, All of the Pain
  9. Break Something
  10. Without End
  11. Believer
  12. To Hell with Boredom
  13. Low Expectations
  14. The Debate is Over (If you want it)

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