With an impressive line-up of features on their new album, Anti-Flag have put together a sweet little album of classic punk tunes and as usual, pull none of their political punches. It’s always a great blend of an album when you’re both moving to the music, as well as ready to start a riot in the streets. Capitalism is their punching bag, as it is many people’s and with good reason.

The opening track starts us off strong, ‘SOLD EVERYTHING’ a short-lived but vitriolic protest against the commercialisation of everything and the repackaging of the human experience into something that has to be bought. The theme continues as we go into ‘META MODERN MEDICINE’, a track that features Jesse Leach of Killswitch Engage, whose voice provides a strengthener to Anti-Flag frontman Justin Sane’s, fitting in with ease amongst the sharp guitar. The tried-and-true method for making your criticisms of society and the powers that be is through music, and that sentiment is already embodied brilliantly, despite us only just being four minutes into the album.

The trend continues in the fourth track ‘THE FIGHT OF OUR LIVES’, featuring Tim McIllrath of Rise Against and Brian Baker of Bad Religion, a convergence of left-leaning punk frontmen deploring the state of the world as it is. The lyricism is less overt here, but the point is well-made and leant into as a complaint about how futile it can feel sometimes to try and make yourself heard in defence of those who need it, and the will to keep doing so despite it.

Our final song, ‘ONLY IN MY HEAD’, is a critique of the ways in which conspiracy theory-touting people live in a paranoid state, thinking anything and everything will threaten their way of life. Sane’s vocals can forever be described with his namesake, and the music itself is a powerful, excellent vehicle for what they’re trying to do with this album. Over the course of the album, they don’t stray much from the path in terms of music, but that doesn’t mean it sounds anything but incredible, and it’s almost impossible to not understand and empathise with a lot of musical messages too.

LIES THEY TELL OUR CHILDREN is available now via Spinefarm. Order it here.

Review – El Vipond

Photo credit – Josh Massie

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