By Anita Stewart, Rock At Night Pittsburgh
Album Review: Anti-Flag’s 20/20 Vision-Spinefarm Records-Releae date January 17, 2020
Pittsburgh’s Anti-Flag is one of Rock at Night’s favorites and indeed, one of the first bands we interviewed back in 2015 at a show in Ybor City, Tampa, Florida. Currently the band has embarked on a European tour to promote their latest album, the eagerly awaited 20/20 Vision that will drop on January 17th, 2020. Pre-order the album and check out the tour dates HERE. This is their twelfth studio album! The band is Pat Thetic, drummer, Justin Sane, guitars and vocals–the two original members–and Chris #2, guitar and vocals and Chris Head on bass and vocals. Guitar, bass and vocals are just stellar on this album!
The band has been around for over three decades now with few lineup changes and involved with a number of political causes to include PETA, Greenpeace and Amnesty International. Fiercely anti war, this band writes songs with very direct political memes and messages meant to get inside the heads of the masses! Listen to some of these songs and you too will have earworms that won’t go away! This writer first interviewed the band for Indymedia at a political event in Tampa way back in 2004. Huge respect to them for always staying true to their anti-capitalist beliefs and political ideals–insisting to their listeners that another world is possible!
This album could not be more timely after watching the news happening today. Justin Sane describes the song Christian Nationalist this way: “History is full of wealthy and powerful people using religion and cultism to justify policies of oppression and inequality. Invariably, these policies target the most vulnerable in society so that elites can maintain their dominance. Today we see this same strategy employed by right wing politicians all over the world…”
Everyone needs to hear this album.
The Songs on 20/20 Vision:
Hate Conquers All–this song has been released on video and opens up with a few lines by the US president–very direct lyrics about hate and the current political situation. Great guitar. Speaking vocals as part of the break. “Watch the empire fall…”
It Went Off Like a Bomb–a sing along punk song, these lyrics are anti-war with a message. Catchy hooks!
2020 Vision—a song that could actually be a folk tune, catch lyrics about creating a new world, the one we want and a positive anthem to the possibilities.
Christian Nationalist—another song released on video (lyrics only) and written in the folk tradition, it opens with a keyboard riff. Lyrics are directed to the enemies of love and peace and the supporters of religious fundamentalism and their beliefs in hard right politics and war.
Don’t Let the Bastards Get You Down—this song is almost more rock than punk, a song with lyrics to encourage and uplift activists.
Unbreakable—love these lyrics that make one feel invincible, references to the Phoenix rising from the ashes, great guitar work and drums.
The Disease—this is another video released from this album. A huge calling out to people who are apathetic about what is going on politically around them. Slower tempo and more melodic. The video has some stunning visuals of a young woman seeing the “real” labels from behind the shades she is wearing.
A Nation Sleeps—this opens with two bars of violin sounds, this is hard core punk rock, the status of nations on the political scene, a call and response to abolish the current society.
You Make Me Sick—angry song perhaps directed to the hypocritical politicians of the world who lie and cheat. Great chorus!
Un-American—a folky song on acoustic guitars, lyrics giving examples of different people living an un-American kind of life with no justice.
Resistance Frequencies—a ska beat with brass section opens the song and riffs throughout, lyrics on the wrongs of world, how are people going to resist what is coming?
AND catch Anti-Flag on Tour!
Anti-Flag have just announced a full U.S. tour set for the Spring of 2020, which will follow a lengthy run of UK and European dates, as well as a series of intimate U.S. shows in 2019. A full list of dates can be found below.
01/08 Lisboa, PT @ RCA Club
01/09 Madrid, ES @ Caracol
01/10 Vitoria, ES @ Kubik
01/11 Zaragoza, ES @ Sala López
01/12 Barcelona, ES @ Estraperlo
01/14 Milano, IT @ HT Factory
01/16 Zurich, CH @ Dynamo
01/17 Graz, AT @ PPC
01/18 Vienna, AT @ Flex
01/19 Prague, CZ @ Roxy
01/21 Berlin, DE @ SO36
01/22 Munich, DE @ Backstage Werk
01/23 Nuremberg, DE @ Löwensaal
01/24 Chemnitz, DE @ Talschock
01/26 Warsaw, PL @ Proxima
01/28 Hamburg, DE @ Fabrik
01/29 Köln, DE @ Essigfabrik
01/30 Haarlem, NL @ Patronaat
02/02 Brighton, UK @ Chalk+
02/04 London, UK @O2 Academy Islington+
02/05 Manchester, UK @ Club Academy+
02/06 Birmingham, UK @ The Mill+
02/07 Glasgow, UK @ The Garage+
02/08 Leeds, UK @ The Key Club+
03/12 – Montreal, QC @ L’Astral%
03/13 – Burlington, VT @ Higher Ground*
03/15 – Boston, MA @ Brighton Music Hall%
03/17 – Asbury Park, NJ @ House of Independents%
03/18 – Hamden, CT @ Space Ballroom*
03/19 – Philadelphia, PA @ The Foundry%
03/20 – College Park, MD @ MilkBoy ArtHouse*
03/22 – Atlanta, GA @ The Masquerade @ Purgatory%
03/24 – Nashville, TN @ Exit/In*
03/26 – Cleveland, OH @ Grog Shop%
03/27 – Buffalo, NY @ Rec Room*
03/28 – Pittsburgh, PA @ Roxian Theatre*
05/03 – Columbus, OH @ A&R Bar^
05/05 – Toronto, ON @ Velvet Underground^
05/06 – Grand Rapids, MI @ Pyramid Scheme^
05/08 – St. Paul, MN @ Amsterdam Bar and Hall^
05/10 – Denver, CO @ Bluebird Theatre^
05/12 – Dallas, TX @ Dada^
05/13 – Austin, TX @ Barracuda^
05/14 – El Paso, TX @ Lowbrow Palace^
05/20 – Oakland, CA @ New Parish^
05/21 – Santa Cruz, CA @ The Atrium at The Catalyst^
05/27 – Sacramento, CA @ Holy Diver^
05/28 – Portland, OR @ Hawthorne Theatre^
05/29 – Vancouver, BC @ Wise Hall^
05/30 – Seattle, WA – The Crocodile^
+ w/ The Creepshow and Maid of Ace
* w/ Grade 2 and Doll Skin
% w/ Grade 2
^ w/ Bad Cop/Bad Cop and Grumpster
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