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Anti-Flag's new album inspired by a year of revolt

By: 
D'Arcy Briggs

March 18, 2012

Anti-Flag, The General Strike

Reviewed by D’Arcy Briggs

Anti-Flag’s latest album, The General Strike, is their shortest and most direct to date. The album was released by SideOneDummy Records, something that readers may want to know as they had previously been signed to Sony-owned RCA records. The group’s fame, record deals, and performances on corporate sponsored tours (Vans Warped Tour) has garnered them criticism from the punk community. Still, they have always maintained a political ethic and have been integral in bringing global political issues into the mainstream.

Musically the album is much more aggressive than previous releases. While they have generally stayed in the area of pop-punk and street-punk, this album seems to have more of the emotive hardcore style popular during the 1990s – think AFI with the Communist Manifesto in onehand and At The Drive-In in the other. Lyrically it is full of venom geared at policy makers and the 1% as a whole. From anthemic calls to power like “Get up! Get up!/ Your voices are needed./ Become, become the pulse of the revolution in the ranks of the masses rising” to attacks directly at the 1% with “No justice in a legal system run by criminals/ If you don’t like the court ruling then you shouldn’t be poor,” the album is unrelenting in its attack on the neo-liberal agenda.

The albums lyrical content and title were inspired by events taking place all over the world – from the Arab Spring to the Occupy Movements all over North America. “Everything that was going on last year was so inspiring,” Pat Thetic, Anti-Flag’s drummer, said in an interview with Billboard.com. “That environment of revolution all over the world was something we wanted to talk about and was impacting us as we were writing. It hasn’t happened in our lifetime where people all over the world people are standing up for their rights and willing to throw off the shackles of dictatorship and decide it’s time to be in control of their own destiny.”

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