I’ve been sitting here thinking about how to introduce Anti-Flag and their release, but chances are you’re very well aware of who they are already. I was unsure how to express how surprised at how great this album was from the moment it hit my ears. I finally decided to just write this and move on with talking about the album.
No disrespect to the band at all, but the last couple of albums did not do that much for me. American Fall, however, has completely blown me away from start to finish. Think of the Clash mixed with Rancid and Green Day with a huge spilling of political and social opinion based on current events and tragedies for that matter. I know that was probably a tough sentence to take in, but trust me, it works.
Punk rock, pop punk, ska, and even a smidge of arena rock was all thrown together in American Fall, the band’s 11th studio release. Co-produced by Benji Madden of Good Charlotte, this album has Anti-Flag taking an entirely new approach with their musical abilities all while keeping on with their values.
“American Attraction” started out full-forced with an intro comparable to Green Day’s “American Idiot” but not in an overplayed way at all. Same style, higher energy, much more appealing to my ears. This was not what I was expecting to hear honestly, but I love the sound.
“When the Wall Falls” started off as an acoustic track and quickly jumped ship into a ska track. This track reminded me so much of Rancid at times especially with that organ playing – I almost with Tim Armstrong had guest vocals on this track. The lyrics of the song were almost frightening when you sit back and think about it.
I could not help but think how close-knit the band sounded in”Trouble Follows Me”. I loved the bass line and overall harmony with the group vocals. Very memorable song that got stuck in my head.
“Finish What We Started” carried this huge Clash resemblance which was totally welcomed. In fact, this was one of my favorite tracks on the album.
If you do not know who “Liar” is about, you just don’t get it. There’s really nothing else to say about this track. The same goes with “Throw It Away”.
“Digital Black Out” was just insane. At times, I thought about a politically charged Joe Strummer leading a revolution. I really felt that Anti-Flag leaped boundaries in this track. As much as I hate to say it, a track like this has the potential to take them to Rise Against levels.
“Racists” was a highly prolific punk jam that once again impressed the hell out of me. I loved the energy and the overall lesson to absorb within their lyrics.
It sucks to think the current state of affairs is what is fueling Anti-Flag, but for what it is worth, I am glad they have a way to release it for others to consume.
Overall, this album was amazing. From start to finish I found myself getting sucked into the tracks and memorizing the lyrics. I can not even tell you how many times I have listened to this album. It has turned into a go to album when I just want to get my blood flowing.
My only complaint about American Fall was that it was only 30 minutes long and I was just so hyped up and ready for 30 more. If Madden was the cause of the band turning a little poppier on this album, I am fully on board for him to co-product in the future. This is the best I have heard Anti-Flag sound in years and I am stoked to hear what comes next.