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Anti-Flag - The General Strike (Cover Artwork)

Anti-Flag

Anti-Flag: The General StrikeThe General Strike (2012)
Side One Dummy Records

Reviewer Rating: 2.5
User Rating:


Contributed by: thepopeofchili-townthepopeofchili-town
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Anti-Flag have been quite a prolific band in recent years. The General Strike is the group's ninth full-length album, and second for SideOneDummy after parting ways with major label RCA. Through years of playing together, the group has developed into a tight-knit unit musically, but their lyrics, w.
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Anti-Flag have been quite a prolific band in recent years. The General Strike is the group's ninth full-length album, and second for SideOneDummy after parting ways with major label RCA. Through years of playing together, the group has developed into a tight-knit unit musically, but their lyrics, which come off impassioned, are ultimately directionless and take the whole affair down a few pegs.

There is a good mix of styles present on The General Strike, from the hardcore leanings of "Bullshit Opportunities" and 22-second opener "Controlled Opposition" to the pop rock hooks of "This is the New Sound" to the garage rock-influenced "I Don't Wanna," to the straightforward, almost Rancid-esque punk rock stylings of "Turn a Blind Eye." Anti-Flag is actually a much more well-rounded group, musically speaking, than it often gets credit for.

The group is at its best when at its most melodic. The aforementioned "This is the New Sound" is probably the album's strongest track. Its danceable bass line and massive rock guitars, coupled with a catchy vocal melody in the verses, sound, well, pretty rad. However, its chorus of "Stand up / Step out / Step out to the new sound" feels a bit anti-climactic after such strong verses. That is a persistent problem with a lot of the songs on The General Strike; they don't really go anywhere.

That being said, while Anti-Flag has never been the most eloquent or subtle band, lyrically speaking, some of the songs' the lyrics are so poorly thought out it's distracting. In "Ranks of the Masses Rising," we are told to "Become the pulse of the revolution / And the ranks of the masses rising." Who we're supposed to be rising against, and what our revolution is for, is never specified. Other songs simply go for the easiest rhymes and clichés possible. In "Nothing Recedes Like Progress" the phrase "This is class war / What are you waiting for?" is followed with a hearty "No rest for the wicked." A lot of the songs vaguely feel like they could be about the Occupy movement, but it's mostly empty sloganeering in the lyrical department on The General Strike.

The members of Anti-Flag are clearly passionate about what they do, they've been around forever and they have a lot of fans to show for it. There are some great moments on The General Strike, but there are too many little faults that when accumulated drag it down as a whole. It feels lazy. A band as experienced and musically adept as Anti-Flag should be capable of more.

 

 
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Fine Print: The following comments are owned by whoever posted them. We are not respon sible for them in any way. Seriously.
ak3punk (December 13, 2013)

This a fantastic album. I've been a fan since "Underground Network", and without a doubt this is one of their best. It's fast, tight, catchy, and at times melodic when it needs to be. It's a great album, and perfect addition to the AF discog.

Nomorekidsagain (July 27, 2013)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=54oXfnGBzCw .. check this interview out for proof what I like so much about them.

Nomorekidsagain (July 27, 2013)

Even though I agree on the fact the lyrics are so-so (could be from their early days huh?) the record is more than okay. The only fear I have is - they record another Bright Lights of America. I LOVE that they stick to their sound. I am a big fan of the theory, that if you wanne have a different type of music - listen to another band and let the bands that do their stuff good, repeat over and over. So what? You wanne see a hockey player play football? No, you wanne see a hockey player play hockey and a football player play football.

I met them once in Berlin and hung out for a while after a concert and just can say, that personally I just love that they are so fucking authentic in standing for what they stand for. Honestly, even though I am active within my circle of friends etc, if I would have a punk band I would write a song called "I'd love to be an activist!"

They are .. and this is good. Love them .. best punk band around for so long imo and btw a sick fucking great live act that blows everyone else out of the water

KamikazePizza (October 10, 2012)

Man, I'm fucking sick of people saying that Anti-Flag needs to disappear. When you listen to them, you know what you're going to get. Granted, you might not be into listening to someone constantly sing about obscure political issues or what have you, but these dudes have stuck to their guns. They have never wavered their message one fucking bit. For Anti-Flag, the music is the medium. It is secondary to their message. If they can get even just a handful of youths to just start considering being more politically minded, then job well done. This album is another solid output for a band that has more guts and principles than most bands parading like they give a shit. Don't rag on them for trying. Maybe your apathy is just the type of bullshit they're fighting against. You don't want to hear about politics? Well, then fucking move to a country where you're not allowed to speak your mind. You want Anti-Flag to disappear? Well, maybe we should start making this world a better place to live. Maybe then they'll put down their instruments. Until then, I say good job guys. Keep it up.

rafiislost (June 18, 2012)

Anti-Flag has always been persistent in putting out 4.5-5 star albums for their first records. I mean, look at the reviews of Die for the Government, Their System Doesn't Work For You, A New Kind of Army, Underground Network, The Terror State, then For Blood and Empire. For Blood seemed to be the band's last actual full length album that felt like an album. I love Anti-Flag, but The Bright Lights of America was bad, The People or the Gun was amazing but seemed more like an EP and this is just mediocre and even shorter than The People or the Gun. Also, the lyrics in Controlled Opposition, The Neoliberal Anthem, I Don't Wanna, and Resist sound really corny. Die to For Blood (10 years) did not have one skippable track, but their latest 3 albums do. Hopefully, their next one reminds us more of Underground Network or The Terror State in the sense that it will feel like a complete album rather than songs bunched together into one CD.

franky_franc (June 14, 2012)

Good album

AmateurChemist (May 29, 2012)

This is even worse than that album Grandpa put out

fattony (May 28, 2012)

Solid album, but nothing really sticks with me even after several listens. Like others have said, The People Or The Gun was much better.

Thumbs (May 28, 2012)

Thumbs up.
(rating appearing this time?)

soulsboarder (May 28, 2012)

They lost it after Terror State

Jeevz (May 27, 2012)

@ echoesmyron

I agree with you that Anti-Flag needs to go away but c'mon man, the new Pennywise with Zoli singing is fucking sick!

Chazmoe (May 27, 2012)

I love Anti-Flag, but admittedly, this isn't their best effort. The songs are solid, but non are particularly amazing. I think their last album was better, for it had a broader range of musical and lyrical modes. This album is a little too focused. I like the album, but I don't love it.

DreeeamWeaver (May 26, 2012)

Next album will be titled "Beating a Dead Horse"

woodprop (May 25, 2012)

I find the album has a lot of solid tracks but nothing that really sticks out.

Although whenever I hear Turn A Blind Eye it sounds a lot like a Flatliners song.

Thumbs (May 25, 2012)

Thumbs up.

Thumbs (May 25, 2012)

Thumbs up.

EchosMyron (May 25, 2012)

Along with the rotting corpse of Pennywise, this band really needs to go away.

lmchc (May 25, 2012)

Man, I thought these guys all crashed in Occupy Pittsburgh and died.

Not true, but it would be better sounding than this train wreck.

kylewagoner (May 25, 2012)

Should have read the previous post, but I was right, it appears.

kylewagoner (May 25, 2012)

Still haven't listened, but I thought their previous album was a great return to form. Really enjoyed every song on that one. If I could just remember what it was called. The People or the Gun?

Strummerboy (May 25, 2012)

Not a bad album, but there's nothing remotely engaging about it. It feels like you're about to hear something great, but it never arrives. People or the Gun was a hell of a lot better. Still, worth a couple of listens.

ak3punk (May 25, 2012)

It's a great album, much better than the last album. It's fast and angry, and catchy as hell. I love it.

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