A New Kind of Army
“Anti-Flag does not mean Anti-American…Anti-Flag means to fight against mindless nationalism. Anti-Flag means unity.”
Well, sign up Strobe Talbot, why don’t you?!
Right. Anti-Flag play fantastic punk rock that mixes the best elements of the Clash (political and musical) with a youthful furiousness characterized by all the best American punk bands of the early ’80s. I’ve seen them live and they were full of it — energy as well.
Politically, I think they’re really confused. The entire album seems like a polemic directed at Ronald Reagan, circa 1985. I mean, a song like “Free Nation,” pointing a finger at those whom “legislate morality,” is what I would hear non-stop around that time from all sorts of punk bands. “I Don’t Believe” is a blatant attack on Ronald Reagan’s “America”: “Born into a national identity/ A citizenship that defines the world ‘free’/ But if we’re so fucking free why don’t we have a choice?/ I never chose to be a citizen, there was no choice given to make…I don’t believe in America/ Or the American dream….Until the rich old men who control the world find something they can’t have…And they send us out there to kill each other…let the rich fight their wars…”
Yeah, yeah, yeah. As I said before, I’ve seen them live, and if you added up the ages of the band members you might get to forty-five; these kids have no idea what they’re talking about, the little punks. And I’ll tell you why: confused, manipulated little twerps like these got their enemies mixed up. They should be going after what’s in power right now, and it ain’t a bunch of “rich old men.”
OK, enough of my abuse, I plan on interviewing them, so look out. Until then, the music Anti-Flag plays is classic punk rock, with all the energy, passion and “stuff.” All lovers of punk will enjoy this album, even if the band is full of pinkos.
Go Kart Records, P.O. Box 20, Prince Street Station, New York, NY 10012