Sound — 9
Anti-flag have returned to form. In the first album since Underground Network I can say this is the Anti-Flag I fell in love with. Not to say The Terror State, For Blood And Empire, or The Bright Lights weren't bad just not as good as previous efforts. This is the first CD after dropping their major label and you can tell. 11 songs clocking in around 30 minutes. The bass work is fantastic as usual with the songs having a healthy split between singers as well.
Lyrics — 9
I figured I'd do a song by song review for this part. 01.Sodom, Gomorrah, Washington D.C: this song starts with number 2's bass rippin in leading into one of the angrier songs on the album and in a long time. Number 2 screams about the use of religion to control the masses. Sounds like old A-F with more grittiness and some other cool stuff, 808's thrown in during the bridge. Probably one of my favorite songs on the album. Couple it with an awesome solo by Justin and it makes for a great opener. 8/10 02.The Economy Is Suffering... Let It Die: Justin starts this song with "I've seen alot rip offs in my life..." The guitar line is catchy and its a pretty standard song. The chorus is damned good and catchy. The back up vocals blend perfectly and this song really seems to capture the energy of an Anti-Flag song. The bridge "When the cities burn down we will all be warm" gains more and more strength as it goes until you can hear number #2 screaming in the background. This is a workers song and in the essays atleast acknowledges that the failure of the free market capitalism is more along the lines of free market Socialism that failed. The title comes from the may 1968 Student Revolt in Paris which lead to the collapse of the De Gaulle government. 8/10 03.The Gre(a)t Depression: this song grew on me. Featuring the like of Rise Against, The Bouncing Souls, Alexisonfire, and Big D And The Kids Table. The song is essentially to quotes, one from Woody Guthrie and the other from Joe Strummer. The song focuses on personal image. The media's distortion of what a human being should look like according to their standards and how depression grips so many with poor self image. The music on this one is alright. 7/10 04.We Are The One: classic A-F. Easiest way to describe it. Starts with picking and leads into the energetic joining of the whole band behind him. "We Are The Ones We Have Been Waiting For" - June Jordan. The verse is muted guitar complimented by #2's running basslines. This song could have been on Underground Network and it would have fit perfectly. The bassline in this song is simply great and the chorus is catchy as all hell. I would hold this up as one of A-F's best songs having everything that accompany's them, catchy lyrics, great bassline, guitar picking and eventual solo, and power. 8/10 05.You're Fired (Take This Job, Ah, F--k It): now comes the perfect song. My favorite on the album. Running on for only a mere minute this song hits you right away. The length of this song makes it so perfect. Number 2 screams with passion leading the attack on bands they have seen at festivals and the music industry in general. The bass work once again is awesome and the simpleness of the song helps the charm. "You're fired, Conformist f--king chickenshit" Nuff said. 10/10 06.This Is The First Night: this song sounds much more along the lines of Justin's solo work. Has a folky feel to it. Not a bad song but definitely detracts from what was building up to from the first few songs. 7/10 07.There Is No War Without Warriors (How Do You Sleep?): noticeably this song has a kind psychobilly tone to the music. Another song with #2 on vocals this song has anger and frustration pulsing through it. The verse with a cool little bass line. Great song. "If you're right it feels good to be wrong. Slaughtering the Pigs. How Do You Sleep?" 8/10 08.When All The Lights Go Out: a workers song based on "The Nobodies" written by Eduardo Galeano. This song is admittedly more violent then A-F's usual songs. "Punching the clock, stabbing the boss" The bridge induces the raising of the fist and singing along. The music here is a tad bit slower but great nonetheless. You can hear passion in their voices that has been absent and recent albums. The last chorus has given me goosebumps. 9/10 09.Independence Day: one of the weaker songs on the album. Bassline starts it off into an offbeat ska influenced song. I imagine much like War Sucks Lets Party this song will grow on me. Standard song nothing to special. 7/10 10.The Old Guard: a song about being optimistic for the future. Another folkier song sand by Justin. Not a huge fan of this one. 6/10 11.Teenage Kennedy Lobotomy: ever heard Right On? Because this is its late counterpart. Finally A-F has written another humorous song. I love this song to say the least. "don't criticize our harmonies we don't criticize you for being f--king assholes" all in good fun! Pat exclaiming he gets paid for the drum beat is great too. 10/10 Bonus EP: 12.Bring Down Their Wall Again: not sure why this wasn't on the album it fits nicely. With the bridge exclaiming "Which side are you on the side of the people or the side of the gun?" Centering around immigration and amnesty international this song is high energy and a song that would have made up for the folkier songs. 13.The Weathermen Know Which Way The Wind Blows: this song is f--king awesome. I personally enjoy Ska more then any other music so A-F doing a ska/punk shows their influence from the Clash as well as pleasing my ears, sexually of course. I hope they play this live in the future. Much easier to dance to the War Sucks Lets Party. 14.Africom: simple lyrics repeated over and over but is made up with some awesome backing music to go along with it. 15.A Brief Misunderstanding Of Kings And Queens: this song sounds the most outta place but a good Pop Punky song. Haven't listened to it much. Best Songs: Sodom, Gomorrah, The Economy is Suffering, You're Fired, Teenage Kennedy Lobotomy, The Weathermen Know Which Way The Wind Blows, There Is No War, When All The Lights Go Out. Honestly only a few that fail to deliver.
Overall Impression — 9
Best album in a while. Simple as that. This CD has energy, catch lyrics, great guitar and bass work, and more importantly passion and power. Something I feel was lacking in BLOA. If someone stole this I would buy it in a second. No question.