Various Artists - One Family, One Flag (Cover Artwork)
Staff Pick

Various Artists

One Family, One Flag (2018)

Pirate's Press Records

Pirate’s Press Records never do anything half-assed. When it came time to celebrate their 200th release, you just knew it was going to be something special. So here it is, One Family, One Flag, a triple album loaded with 34 songs from 34 different artists. It contains songs from all of the bigger names that you associate with the label. Bands like Cock Sparrer (“One By One”), Lenny Lashley’s Gang Of One (“Hooligans”), Street Dogs (“Certain Fate”), Rancid (“Fuck You”), Tim Timebomb & Friends (Too Much Pressure), The Re-Volts (“Piles”) and The Old Firm Casuals (“For the Love of it All”). There are also a couple of bigger acts that you wouldn’t necessarily associate with PPR, namely The Interrupters (“This is the New Sound”) and Off With Their Heads (“Die Today”). All of these bands make wonderful contributions to One Family, One Flag.

Hopefully these well known bands will help bring attention to the amazing roster of up and coming acts that Pirate’s Press Records has been cultivating over the last few years. Bands like Booze and Glory (“Swinging Hammers”), Reducers SF (“Empty Bottles”), Noi!se (“Idle Action”), The Ratchets (“Rockers Taking Over”), Downtown Struts (Rogues”), Roadside Bombs (“Rise Up”), The Bar Stool Preachers (“One Fool Down”) The Complicators (“The Next One”), This Means War! (“Use It Up”), Suede Razors (“Keep On Rockin’”) and Territories (“Heart That Breaks”). These more current bands point the way to the future of punk, and also serve to remind us that the label never took its finger off the pulse of modern punk.

Over the last 13 years, Pirate’s Press Records has also built its reputation on the defense of traditional style punk. Those type of bands are also well represented on One Family, One Flag with Harrington Saints (“Saturdays in the Sun”), Bishops Green (“Alone”), Sydney Ducks (“He Lives For Today”), Bum City Saints (“Hearts Beat As One”), Kicker (“Timeless Cliches”), Workin’ Stiffs (“We Are The Truth”), Argy Bargy (“Thi Is Me”), Evil Conduct (“That Old Tattoo”) and Lion’s Law (“way Of Life”). Of course, many bands on the label are difficult to categorize or belong in several different categories. I suppose that’s the point of One Family, One Flag. It’s a diverse group of artists united by their common love of punk. There is an almost intangible quality that brings brings them all together.

While the first five sides of these three platters are music, side F is silkscreened with the names of the bands. It’s a very nice touch, and reminds us how innovative the label has been in terms of presentation. While the packaging is fairly subdued by Pirate’s Press Records standards, there is still a great deal of attention paid to even the smallest detail. The stark black on red cover is a throwback to punk’s earliest days. The heavy duty record sleeves are die cut with the PPR flag. Included is a letter from the label and a poster with the covers from the first 200 releases. All that being said, the music is the real star here. It’s a joy to listen to, and you can get lost in this thing for hours. Ultimately, One Family, One Flag is a celebration of one of the most vital punk labels going. Here’s to the next 200 releases!