The Bright Lights Of America review by Anti-Flag

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  • Released: Mar 25, 2008
  • Sound: 7
  • Lyrics: 9
  • Overall Impression: 6
  • Reviewer's score: 7.3 Good
  • Users' score: 5.9 (27 votes)
Anti-Flag: The Bright Lights Of America

Sound — 7
Anti-Flags new album "The Bright Lights Of America" was a disappointment for long time fans of Anti-Flag but still put up good sound and the music complemented by excellent song writing as usual. The album is well recorded with no recording errors but lacks the old school Anti-Flag feel, long time listeners will also notice the progressive change in their style since the "Die for the Government" days up until now. If you listen to all these albums continually, a change can hardly be heard aside to the increasingly good recording quality but the fast pace, straight up punk energy seems to be decreasing ever since the band went major label. Anti-Flags song-writing thankfully hasn't changed and they are still the politically charged punk rock band we all know and love, but the bands sound and style is getting more mainstream and this album looses the feeling that Anti-Flag once had of fast past chord progressions and screaming riffs. This was the Anti-Flag that once played underground punk shows that let the fans dance and sing on stage with them, now the band is selling out stadiums and a good 50 percent of these songs on the album are more chunky and slow and feel less energized. Don't get me wrong, these songs aren't bad, in fact they are quite enjoyable, Anti-Flag almost seems to be forgetting their roots and what they used to be like though. Although the sound on this album is different then most of the old albums, it carries a lot of the same characteristics of "For Blood and Empire" and combines vocals and instruments in harmony creating a overall decent sound. The musical side of this album is extremely well written and all the songs mesh together well and all voice an opinion while giving a very entertaining song. None of the songs are too much alike which is great considering most bands struggle with this category. Even though I fear Anti-Flag maybe getting sucked into the mainstream music industry that rips apart punk rock bands, they still produced an excellent album with catchy tunes that will suck any listener in.

Lyrics — 9
This category of "The Bright Lights of America" deserved a near perfect 10 for the lyrical side of the album. As usual, Anti-Flag's lyrics are sculpted beautifully and all tell an individual story and voice a complaint about today's society in America. The song writing is well done, so complex and advanced they may not be understand by few besides the writer which in my opinion is something that is hard to do without writing a song about complete randomness. Justin Sane and Chris #2 both sing impressively together and simultaneously yell parts of the song and their voices get across the song very well. This albums lyrics and vocals were as great as always and the band consistently puts up a good vocal side to every album.

Overall Impression — 6
Overall, Anti-Flag did a decent job with this album, I had to give it a six because of the disappointing sound and the lack of the fast past punk rock but the lyrics, song writing, and overall sound pulled this album together making it worth your money. This album still ranks fairly low in all of Anti-Flags albums so I would suggest buying "The Terror State" or "Mobilize" over this album but still has great music, just not as straight forward punk rock as others. Also, Anti-Flag has recently done a great job on slower acoustic songs and I have been very impressed the song-writing and work that went into "Tar and Sagebrush" on this album and "One Trillion Dollars" on "For Blood and Empire". 70% of the songs on this album will impress you and 3 or 4 songs such as "Smartest Bomb" will remind you of past Anti-Flag albums and has a great guitar riff in the beginning. Well done Anti-Flag, not your best effort in my eyes, but the band still pulled it together.

16 comments sorted by best / new / date

    nice review i pretty much agreed with all of that still a great album though well done mate
    And mainstream apologists for crappy punk bands give glowing reviews yet again. I'm sorry, but anyone with a critical mind can see (or rather, hear) this is a terribly made album.
    i'm not happy with anti-flag not only cause they totally ditched their own record label for a corporate shit label but also cause it seems like they're a bit out of touch with everything
    After FBAE, I was had really high expectations for this album, but it's the worst A-F album so far. If you're new to A-F go buy FOR BLOOD AND EMPIRE. ...And Tony Visconti focking sucks.
    catchy phrase
    Honestly, this album sucks. FBaE was decent, although not fantastic, but this new one is terrible.
    If your new to Anti-Flag, check out underground network, die for the government, & for blood & empire instead.
    im with Darky. this new stuff SUCKS in comparison. from The Terror State forward - its been nothing but suck. Honestly though - theyll always remain one of my favorites - even if you dont like the songs on this cd, make SURE to check em live if you ever can, great. amazing. shows.
    keep voting this cd down UG readers, don't let the propaganda fool any sorry soul into buying this crap.
    A band who wants to get a point across is better off on a major label. It's obvious that their sound was changing BEFORE the change, so you can't really blame the record label. Anyway, the album was just kind of boring and generic, it wasn't really stand out, but it was alright.
    Anti-Flag's "anti-capitalism" is a ****ing joke; they wouldn't know Engels if he bit Just Inane on the ass.
    NemX162 wrote: A band who wants to get a point across is better off on a major label. It's obvious that their sound was changing BEFORE the change, so you can't really blame the record label. Anyway, the album was just kind of boring and generic, it wasn't really stand out, but it was alright.
    The ironic part is that they are anti-capitalists yet they are supporting the system by being on a major label. Don't buy this hypocritical pop punk crap. Listen to real punk bands that don't use a bunch of recycled power-chord chord progressions. Try bands like the Dead Kennedys, the Butthole Surfers and the Jesus Lizard.
    i hate how people are saying theyre sell outs for going on a major label. its only selling out if your labl turns you into a shitty radio friendly pop-punk band. i didnt like this album aqs much as the rest, but still. just bcause not every album is as good as the rest doesnt mean you should slam the whole bands work
    I agree with Shread_6009. Not their best album but still 10 times better than most of the crap rock out today! If you like old anti-flag than go listen to it dumbass. Can't stand people that want bands to stay the same. NEWSFLASH-good musicians evolve! These guys are friends with Tom Morello and have worked with a ton of talent in the industry. This album is actually well put together and is a good listen. There isn't an album from these guys I don't like because they are a solid band with great lyrics. Good review by a6stingworld but shitty comments from everyone else! In the lyrics of Spit in the Face, they "don't give a shit what you think of" them.
    You are tools; this is the EXACT type of crap rock that is out today. Quite confusing evolution with change of format, because they are not one & the same. Anti-Flag has changed alright, into what, I'm not sure, but it sure ain't ****ing Anti-Flag. It's more like Justin Sane & Friends play mediocre songs that are a sad attempt at mirroring Against's Me's "New Wave" change. Grow up.