It’s all too easy to write off Anti-Flag as the poster-boys of point-blank political punk. Their blunt, anti-authoritarian agenda is on the same side of the political spectrum as Propagandhi, but in terms of the depth of their arguments and the complexity of their message the two bands are worlds apart.
For this reason I was ready to pan this album, a commemorative collection of songs to mark the band’s 20 year career, and then I listened through and realised I was wrong. Despite their route one values, Anti-Flag’s music has adapted wonderfully to the passage of time, producing some fantastic songs and never losing focus. The reason I loved this band as a teenager wasn’t just because I was less cynical. It’s because they were damn good.
“You’re gonna die gonna die gonna die for your government, die for your country that’s shit!” The opening line of first track ‘Die For The Government’ would make an intelligent libertarian weep, but so what? It’s got to be one of the most recognisable lyrics in the whole of punk rock, and that means that Anti-Flag have already won the war.