The Upshot: Best protest band in the land is inspired in the era of Trump.
BY JOHN B. MOORE
It’s practically cliché at this point to mention the role Conservative presidential administrations play in inspiring great punk rock. That being said, it’s hard to think of a better band to rage against Trump and his racist, sexist, homophobic and xenophobic brand of politics than Anti-Flag. And the proof is all over American Fall, the latest from Pittsburgh’s musical conscience.
Sound wise, the band has sanded down a few of the rougher edges over the past couple of decades, but that has done little to blunt the ferocity of the music or the social criticism in their lyrics. There are a few more hooks on this latest release and the production is clearer, but it certainly doesn’t water down the sentiment. The band has also added in more sing-along choruses, suggesting some of the great British oi bands like Cock Sparrer and Sham 69. A song like “The Criminals” is just as ferocious as anything off their blistering debut, Die For The Government, while “When the Walls Fall” mixes in some ska horns showing he band is willing to take more chances on this new record – some succeed better than others.
“The Racists,” probably the center piece of this record, is tailor-made for the Trump era and his red-capped, khaki wearing “alt right” cheerleaders. The album even has a brilliant call to arms in the song “Finish What We Started.”
Yes, right wing government making for great protest rock is hardly a new theory, but Anti-Flag prove it’s true yet again with their latest.
DOWNLOAD: “The Criminals,” “Trouble Follows Me,” and “Finish What We Started”