Anti-Flag - Mobilize (Cover Artwork)


Mobilize (2002)


There was a time when I was a young punk and I thought Anti-Flag was the coolest, most offensive and most "punk" band out there. I think a lot of kids go through this stage. You hear "Die for the Government" and you think that hating the U.S. government is cool and rebellious. Whatever, phases are normal.

However, I grew out of this phase and learned to realize that, well....Anti-Flag are basically crap. They're great musicians and good songwriters, but the political gimmick drags them through the mud. I say gimmick because of this: The Clash were an incredible band, with numerous songs focusing on political issues. They approached the issues in a smart way, with thought-provoking arguements and an intelligent point of view. Anti-Flag does NOT. A typical AF song can be summarized as "Oh, oh fuck the government. You're a facist. Fuck America." Still, however, I checked out their song "911 For Peace" when it was released on their web site immediately following the tragedies.

I must say, I was extremely impressed by this track. It had somewhat of a different sound for Anti-Flag, alternating singers between Justin Sane and Chris #2. Of course, they ruined it with a sample of a Martin Luther King Jr. speecg in the middle of the song, but it was still a good song. I figured I'd give the new album a chance.

What a mistake that was. Tracks 1 through 8 were all new studio material, which I must say was terrible. Aside from the previously mentioned "911 For Peace", the tracks were garbage. Anti-Flag had always managed to keep my interest with their music abilites, but apparently they lost them on this release. And the lyrics were even more mindless and corny than ever. "Brick by brick, wall by wall. Free Mumia Abu-Jamal" Oh please.

The only thing that saved this album from going straight into the garbage was tracks 9-16, which were live tracks. Some of my favorites here including "Tearing Everyone Down" and "Their System Doesn't Work For You". The band sounds a lot more aggresive live and Chris #2's occasional screams make you wonder why he isn't the full-time singer.

Unsatisfied was not the word for me towards the CD. In fact, that was the general feedback I heard from most kids. Out of all 5 Anti-Flag releases, I'd definitely rank this one last. Save your money, buy an earlier release such as "Die For The Government" or check out a new band with no political gimmick. Unless you're a Hot Topic punk. If that's the case, you're going to LOVE this album.