The music is hard and straight-forward, just like the message the band conveys. However, Justin Sane's vocals leave a lot to be desired. Anti-Flag has a structure like Crass, the songs are political manifestos and the musical value is secondary.
I enjoyed the music on the album, for the most part. It was produced very well, but Sane's lyrical structure doesn't fit the music well. In the end it sounds as if he is simply trying to squeeze all his ideals into the alloted time provided by the music on the album, the product of which is a pathetic attempt at singing.
The album opens with "Angry, Young, and Poor," this song comes at you like a train. It's a good commentary on how the youth is treated today, and how they will eventually fight back. As with most political bands, they have a very optimistic view of what society could do for itself.
"This Machines Kills Facists" was a track I was looking forward to hearing. It's about time a punk band paid Woody Guthrie the respect he deserves. The song has strong lyrics, but the vocals sound forced throughout the song. This is the most common theme in the album, next to the hardcore leftist ideals conveyed.
The band shows it's attempts to display credibility with "The Panama Deception" by including Howard Zinn's, a professor at Boston University, essay that accompanies the song's lyrics. This was a nice touch, the only problem I had with the song was the outdated politics.
This album is currently available from Fat Wreck Chords. If you are looking for a history lesson in American politics and some hard, in-your-face punk rock, this is the album for you. If you want a political album that is updated, more intellegent, and with more musical thought, pick up a Propagandhi album.
Samuel Barker is Senior Editor. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org.