20 years ago Anti-Flag released Underground Network on Fat Wreck. This album was and still is deeply influential and important to me. I was 18 and had been into punk for about 3 years. I was already deeply political and dissatisfied with most media but this album drove it further. I obsessively read the liner notes and did further studies based on the subject matter. The idea of an underground network existing outside of the mainstream to present information and entertainment is what led to this blog and for me to want to do a political podcast that is now happening. Also this album was the beginning of Anti-Flag coming into their own sonically and production wise. For me, this one still holds up musically and ideologically. My standout track on this is Bring Out Your Dead, but the whole record is fucking solid! So go check it of you never have, or rediscover it if it’s been awhile.
This isn’t a new but a fucking classic! In 2003 Whatever It Takes released their full length album on A-F Records which also included their Stars and Skulls ep. They were an amazing blend of east coast emo and hard core. The vocalist is Anti-Flag’s own Chris#2. I remember first hearing a couple of their songs on a comp and following the lead up to the release. I was fucking stoked on it! Right from the first track City Streets, Summer Heat i was hooked in (still one of my favorite tracks off of this). My other favorite is Post Marked Yesterday which is just a perfect early 2000’s emo track. The whole release is just amazing front to back. It perfectly captured an era of the scene I really miss. I bugged so many people in my local scene to listen to this. The playing and songwriting are fucking solid. This album still means a lot to me 17 years later and Chris’ voice is perfect for this! Click the links below which include a recent acoustic set by Chris #2 of 11 of these songs and play it fucking loud!
Anti-Flag’s now album 20/20 Vision dropped today. Most who know me know I haven’t shut up about this album since I knew it was coming out and heard the the singles repeatedly. So yeah, I’m stoked! Let’s start with it’s fuckin amazing! It opens up with a ripper of a track Hate Conquors All. A tale of where America presently is. The intensity continues through It Went Off Like a Bomb and Christian Nationalist. From here it gets hopeful with 20/20 Vision followed by the rallying cries of Don’t Let The Bastards Get You Down, Unbreakable( ’cause we fuckin are) and We Are The Disease. After this we turn it up to 11 with A Nation Sleeps followed by You Make Me Sick, which is an amazing break up with your oppressor song. Next track is Un-American which questions what is un-American set to an Americana folk sound (I’m sure Woody Guthrie os dancing to this in paradise). The albun closes with Resistance Frequencies, a ska punk track displaying the band’s undeniable Clash influence and serves as our call to arms to stop the ball resist this dystopian state of reality. So play this loud enough for your whole block to hear! Also get a hard copy as the liner notes are amazing just like every Anti-Flag album.
A tale of 2 Americas followed by a new dumpster fire in the middle east. I recall when we assisnated Qadifi in Libya and Hillary going on her talk show tour cackling about. I remember every damned right wing talking head screaming about how tasteless that was and a few talking about the problems of interventionist policies. I agreed and even talked about this at length. But if they believed that, why are they stroking such a way hard on about Trump doing the same thing and actually committing and even bigger war crim and interventionist overreach? I suppose that stroking self rightiousness didn’t do enough for them. At least Libya was having a revolution and America was able to satisfy its urge for killing brown people beneath the guise of giving an assist. This Iran thing is highly problematic. Let’s unpack this shit show. So we extrajudicialy executed a foreign national on another nation’s soil that we did not have such agreement with. Basically commiting an act of war while forcing a 3rd party to become accessory to it. And now congress is proposing changes to the war powers act. Fuckin really? A great many of us have been saying this since Bush. And as they lined up to kiss Obama’s ring as he furthered the war powers overreach many said “at some point he won’t be president and you’re not gonna like it.” Well it sure looks like we’ve arrived. And now Iraq intends to expel us from their country. It’s about fuckin time someone stood up to the playground bully our government has become. Granted Trump in his sociopathic way is threatening Iraq if they expel us. Wait, what the fuck? Yes our Republican (the party that gets all worked up over national sovereignty) if refusing to accept another nation’s right to not have an occupying force there any longer. Also he has threatened to further attack Iran for the war crime we’ve committed by targeting 52 sites of cultural significance if they retaliate. For those just tuning to world affairs, attacking cultural sites is a fuckin war crime as agreed by the entire world. Here’s a song for the 2020 season of Murica.
The new Anti-Flag album dropped today. It’s the most stoked I’ve been on a new punk album in years. I saw them live a couple weeks back. The new one is a call to action against the neo-liberal order of the previous 8 years and this alt-right status quo the rose of Trump has given us. Stand out track on this is When The Wall Falls. Anti-Flag wrote a kick ass ska track. This is the album we need now. From us old dogs who may feel a bit jaded to the scared kid that may be gay, trans or simply not about the shit happening in these times. This is a battle cry to hold the line and remain human. As always we’ve got this. I’ll see ya when the wall falls.
– C Fish
Writer’s note: stay tuned for a full Punx In Solidarity style Anti Flag article late fall/ early winter.
So on Tuesday 08NOV2016 this country elected Donald Trump as president. A man who is a caricature of every negative statement about America, white males and the Republican party. Not that Hilary was a good option. It was Lizard Queen versus the Great White Nope. The options were pure shit and people couldn’t stomach the idea of another Clintonoid after millennials went in droves to third parties. There is a positive about these results. The underground has been massively complacent over the past 8 years. This should shake everyone awake much like G.W. and the last Clintonoid did. I am looking forward to punk rock being amazing and prolific again. We need to have our hearts and minds open as we move forward through the cultural wasteland. Latinos and Muslims are validly scared of the growing white nationalist movement and anti-racist whites that proudly display our stance are scared of being caught in the cross fire from both sides. It’s time for the underground to March and really stoke the flames that provide change. Punx In Solidarity! Nazi Punks Fuck Off!