Anti-Flag - A Benefit for Victims of Violent Crime (Cover Artwork)
Staff Review


A Benefit for Victims of Violent Crime (2007)


A Benefit for Victims of Violent Crime is a charitable release by Pittsburgh's Anti-Flag with a somewhat self-explanatory title. Early this year, bassist Chris #2 lost someone dear to him: his own sister, as well as her boyfriend, at the hands of violence. This release will consequently provide funds to The Center for Victims of Violence and Crime and provide some hope and comfort to those dealing with the same emotions.

Although billed as an EP, A Benefit is packaged much in the same way the band's 2002 effort Mobilize is: There's five new songs here as well as live versions of five catalog staples and a few interlude tunes to boot. The recording is excellent, the live songs have clear audio and the new stuff, while not exactly a departure for the band, is solid.

"No Paradise" opens as a totally bouncy pop-punk number with lyrics that flip from disheartening to motivating within its short course. It's considerably poppy, even for the band after For Blood and Empire, but it's pretty fun. "Anthem for the New Millennium Generation" is another standout, sounding a little more in tune with the Underground Network / Terror State era. The few others making up the first half don't slouch, though -- even the "Oh, Katrina" interlude is a soulful little stomp-and-clap-along. There's also the street punk-inflected "Marc Defiant," a tribute to the vocalist of fellow Pittsburgh act the Code.

The live flipside kicks off with "No Borders, No Nations," a good, aggressive start despite the eye-rolling nature of the little off-the-cuff lyric at the beginning ("If George Bush wants to end terrorism / he should go ahead and kill himself!"). Stripped of the studio gloss, "1 Trillion Dollars" and "Turncoat" both come off a little less cheesy.

The contributions from a purchase of A Benefit for Victims of Violent Crime are already going to a worthy cause, but Anti-Flag have it stocked with enough enjoyable material to make it an all-around solid package.

No Paradise
Corporate Rock Still Sucks