Do you like Anti-Flag? Do you dislike, or would you go so far as to say you loathe the Bush Administration and the subsequent politics the country is embroiled in? Bent Left answered a resounding yes to both of those questions, and their new record Skeletons in Your Closet will do well to expand on both of those criteria.
Combining heavily left-wing lyrical salvos with a snotty punk rock sound is just the recipe needed to conjure up this record. For being as young as they are, it's impressive how solid both a lyrical and musical grasp they have on things.
In regards to the latter, make no mistake, these guys are tight. Every single song sounds so fresh and so vibrant. The youthful enthusiasm is invigorating considering how old and jaded the lyrics would have you believe that they are. Not the case, however, as these four fine young gentlemen rage through twelve songs without even giving a hint of knowing how to slow up. Lead singer and guitarist Dan Meyers is impressive in both those capacities, shredding chords metal and vocal just the same, dutifully accompanied by the bassist and second guitarist who often contribute rousing rounds of background vocals. Meyers' snarl is not much unlike Anti-Flag's Justin Sane's, and when the other members contribute their background vocals, the whole picture just comes together beautifully. These songs are hard-hitting, and often provide some terrific melodic guitar work underneath the thick levels of distortion, sometimes escaping for a blistering solo. Being that they are such a political band though, it would be foolish not to delve at least somewhat into their thoughts.
The statue of liberty is green with envy, jealous of prosperity and peace / Residing in a land hand in hand while daddy leaves his loved ones home, without him they are sure proud of him / It's such an honor to serve a government of murderers / It's about time we trade our stars and stripes for a pirate flag / Set sail right now, we battled these seas so that we could be free / Now let's take those freedoms that we've never had, with our blades and barrels in the air / â?¦ / For the pirates of liberty, filtration of our content / To make sure we fit the mold, punish the ones who question lies they told.Biting words from Bent Left, who obviously make no qualms about their beliefs or affiliations, using punk rock as a vehicle to make their voices heard above the rest. Even those who may not agree with the band's politics must acknowledge their freedom to have that voice, and must acknowledge that in this case they portrayed their feelings in a very eloquent manner.
Tremendous effort from a band far too young to have the right to be this good. Political punk done right. I think Rage Against the Machine said it best: "Give me something I can't understand, how Dick Cheney can just shoot a man."