Known for their politically charged and current event fueled lyrics, Anti-Flag has solidified their place among the greats of no bullshit punk rock. With a devout and loyal fanbase behind the band, they continue to release music that speaks not only to the hearts of their audience but also to the emotions that they feel every day in the society we live in. Now don’t get me wrong here, I’ve never really been a punk fan, nor had I heard of this band before I listened to this record, so I come into this with open ears. So, let me find as much hair gel as I can, get my liberty spikes going and dive right on into this one.
The short 32-minute 11-track American Fall opens with one of my favorite tracks off the release, “American Attraction”. This song covers everything from the mainstream media being a distraction from the bigger more important events and moves being made behind closed doors to the American addiction and attraction to guns and drugs. Powered by heavy distorted guitar work as well as strong work on the bass guitar, this track shines on all levels. The one thing I didn’t particularly like was the audio filter added to the vocals of Justin Sane during the verses of the song, it was something I felt didn’t add to the song and for me it was honestly more of a distraction.
The second stand out song for me off of the release was the fifth song on the release, “Finish What We Started”. The song’s main structure is based around a very funky bass guitar riff and it shines through. This song was just a fun, anthem sounding track, with heavy guitars picking up in the chorus as Sane sings, “We’re gonna kill em dead, we’re going to finish what we started”. This is one of those songs that when you hear it, you can literally picture an entire crowd at a show singing along at the top of their lungs.
Overall, this was an enjoyable punk record for me. It contained the normal frantic instrumentation that has become associated with punk music, but it also had some tamer songs that focused more on the lyrics. I think Anti-Flag has created another great record in their discography, I did do my research before I wrote this review and went back to listen to some of their older music. There is a bit of experimentation with the vocal delivery on some of the songs, but I feel like it fits well and doesn’t take away from their overall sound.
American Fall is available now via all streaming sites, Google Play, iTunes and hard copies (if you are still into buying CDs) can be purchased via the band’s website. The band is also on tour throughout the end of January of 2018 so there are still some chances left to check them out in concert.