They’ve been raging against the machine for over two decades and releasing music, touring, organizing, and repeat since the early ’90s. With ’20/20 Vision’ the Pittsburgh, PA based band prove that they have plenty of vitriol left. With the fascistic hate-mongering of the Trump administration at large and seemingly out of control ’20/20 Vision’ is the sound of the times we find ourselves living in. It’s an album intended to explicitly address the here and now.
I generally tend to like a lot of Anti Flag records or to be fair I’ve pretty much liked them all but for some reason when I last caught them live I thought I’d fallen out of love with their passion and delivery (I know that could have been me seeing as the rest of the audience was going nuts) but when this new opus came in for review I filed it away not in any great rush to review. Then, when it came time to give it a spin and hearing Trump on a newsreel kick things off I kinda sat up and paid attention. It might not have been opener ‘Hate Conquers All’ that lit a fire but it did send up the flag that 20/20 Vision was where they were going to take another stand against fascism, racism, and champion good against evil such as the leader of the western world and it was time to get behind them.
The second track ‘It Went Off Like A Bomb’ which took things quite literally. Sure its Anto Flag doing Anti Flag but its got boundless energyand there is a fire raging inside to be fair. I guess dealing with the here and now certainly has its subject matter globally to rage over but the deeper you get into the record the better it gets. The title track is blistering. But it does get better and better as they freewheel downhill towards the Clashtastic ‘Don’t Let The Bastards Get You Down’ what a great thumping bassline and sing-along chorus that is everything I love about Anti Flag. In fact, to be fair this is the best the band has sounded for quite a while maybe as strong as they’ve sounded in a decade it’s that good.
It’s still accessible for mass appeal and veers close to modern Green Day at times the two draws from the same well so its to be expected. As the record rolls on the variety is a great flow from the spikey punk to the more laid back acoustic ‘Un American’ which couldn’t be more American sounding if Mellencamp and Springsteen sang gang vocals. Then to close it off we have the brass infused ‘Resistance Frequencies’ that has all the triumph and gusto of a band who know its winning with this record that’s exuding confidence and great tunes. Where do I sign up to join the resistance – I’m in!
Buy 20/20 Vision Here
Author: Dom Daley