Review by Sheri Bicheno for MPM
You know what they say… if it aint broke, dont fix it.
Anti-Flag, having been impressionable for a good 30 years or so, remain an influitive energy, leading their listeners down the path of brutal honesty, the soundtrack of current and past time’s humanity issues examining the political agenda of America and all it’s troubles.
13th studio album from the Pittsburgh punk quartet Lies They Tell Our Children, is the brand new offering, spoken to be the first concept album of Anti-Flag, highlighting all of the nonsense and shenanigans that we’ve been seeing around the world lately.
What’s more, a whole host of impressive artists leaving their footprints on the album are featured – guests ranging from Killswitch Engage’s Jesse Leach,Bad Religion’s Brian Baker Pinkshift’s Ashrita Kumar and Rise Against’s Tim McIlrath to name a few!
Sold Everything is a mega opener… the song winds in slowly and you’re not quite sure that this is the direction you’d expect to be taken – guitaring is solid and prominent here before we’re welcomed with Justin’s political voice chanting through… a nice kickstart to the album, with a clear indication that we need to expect to be told a few home truths.
Next track Modern Meta Medicine delivers riffs a plenty and Jesse Leach’s unmistakable vocals with a Hardcore style edge injected into the signature Punk Rock protege of Anti-Flag. This combines perfectly with Justin’s pipes and delivers and energy huge enough to want to hear this fill an arena.
It’s fast-paced with loud drumming and guitars and creates an upbeat vibe amongst the message of the Pharma issues that America see’s everyday.
Laugh. Cry. Smile. Die has Silverstein’s Shane Told blending in with the Anti-Flag ranks and delivering some blows to the feel of this punchy track. The chorus is catchy, the drums are again, punchy and mood setting. This is a sing a long track by all means.
Fight of Our Lives is my favourite track of this album – this has so much depth and explores the concepts of mental health, hope and battling the masses in exchange for our lives belonging to ourselves.
The vocal ‘s are accompanied by Brian Baker and Tim McIIrath and deliver a more ambient style into the make up of this song… something we all know that I am a fan of.
The skills behind the kit from Pat Thetic aren’t overpowering but still command to jump the f*ck up and pay attention to the undertones of this track.
It quite intrigues me to try and absorb the songwriting styles of this album – i’m not an expert on punk rock, though there are so many layers and twists that form Fight of Our Lives – where the vocals are harsher, the energy from Pat and the bassy undertones of Chris Head really thrive. The deliverance of the rest of the track is fast paced and belts out those blasts of rapid power that gets your imagination taste buds grasping what the ambience of this track truly is about.
Victory Or Death (We Gave ‘Em Hell) is definitely this album’s anthem – this will be a favourite from the gig go-ers of Anti-Flag, if played. The feel of the track brings some Irish folk syles to mind, peel back the roots of punk rock, add that into the mix… with an injection from Die Toten Hosen’s Campino.
Fun and full of energy, I recommend this track if you’re wanting to throw yourself around a bit.
The Hazardous kicks off with a frantic under riff that blends into a huge bashing riff that shoots the tone of this track into the skies.
Listening to NVREVER a few times – I really think I understand why this was chosen as a single for this album. It has everything that Anti-Flag are – this is upbeat, imposing and demands your undivided attention. The blends and moods are huge. There are angry notes, talks of defiance and a sense of self power. The main melody of this track is catchy and winding, one that you’ll find yourself humming to, memorable riffs are always welcome in my book.
Towards the end of the track is slightly menacing but there’s always that powerful stance of pulling you back into a fun slide of upbeat and rapid pathways.
In the light of these trying times, Anti-Flag are committed to showing morale, that hope is possible if we are able to pay attention to what is going on in the world. Lies They Tell Our Children is a great offering from the guys that have been teaching us for many years to fearlessly stand up in the face of repression and never give up. Let this message spread…
Justin Sane – lead vocals, lead guitar
Chris No. 2 (Chris Barker) – bass guitar, backing and lead vocals
Chris Head – rhythm guitar, backing vocals
Pat Thetic – drums, percussion
Watch ‘Sold Everything’ here:
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