Sound — 9
First off, I LIKED (triple double underline in red print) this record, so if you don't like me for that and aren't even gonna read the review, email me PLEASE. I liked how AF experimented a little bit more on this album musically. Sure, it was hit-and-miss, but I don't see too many punk bands play the harmonic as confidently as Anti-Flag. The other thing that surprised me about this album was the inclusion of sound effects and a more epic feel to the whole album (especially on Modern Rome Burning and The Ink And The Quill). The bass lines still kick @$$ and Justin still whines (more in tune though) about America and War and all that fun stuff, and Chris still sings like Mark Lanegan on (more) drugs (than usual). I think it was important for Anti Flag to try and change up their songs. Their other stuff rocked, but you can't ignore how totally awesome this album's guitar solos are. And just because they don't sound like the band you want them to be, remember you could be saving a child's life or (for the more materialistic people), making money instead of crying about how Anti Flag doesn't sound like the same band they were 12 years ago. Boo hoo, look what a change in musical style after a decade did for the Chili Peppers. The would still be an underground (and not so good) funk band. They experimented on BSSM and now look at them. Pretty sweet. They might be on a bigger record label, but that doesn't mean they have destroyed their message. They can get it out to more people over the radio. I will agree that Go West is a terrible song though.
Lyrics — 10
As on every AF album, the lyrics are great. War, capitalism, a distorted image of beauty, what else could you ask for. The ink and Quill has by far the best lyrics on the album, but remember, if Bush hadn't handled Katrina better, the song probably wouldn't exist. But then maybe he wouldn't have so much blood on his hands. The only slightly annoying thing about the vocals is when Justin's voice squeaks a little too much. Not very often, so it's ok.
Overall Impression — 9
I think that Anti Flag is headed in a positive direction. This has to be one of my top five favorite albums (but Songs for the Deaf is hard to beat), and one of AF's best ever. If it were stolen, I would find the culpurt and sue him or her 5 billion dollars.