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Anti-Flag – The Terror State

I was never a fan of Anti-Flag. One of my good friends loved them, but personally, I could never stand the singer’s voice. This latest album, though, has barely left my CD player since it was given to me a week ago.

The Terror State, produced by Tom Morello of Rage Against The Machine/Audioslave, is the fourth full-length from this foursome from Pittsburgh, and their second on Fat Wreck Chords.


As the name might suggest, The Terror State pulls no punches in its anti-Bush fervor. The liner notes are full of blurbs about Bush’s (and the U.S. in general) military actions, and you can bet it’s not Fox News sanctioned. They also have notes about such famed social critics as Woody Guthrie, Arundhati Roy, and my personal favorite, Emma Goldman. The sliding cardboard cover even has a “One-Term President” stencil on the inside for purchasers to cut out and use to spread the word. It’s a call to arms in album form.

But you want to know how it sounds, don’t you? Well rest assured that you don’t have to be a raging political activist to enjoy this CD, though it may help. But if you’re the type who just likes something fun to listen to, you’ll still enjoy it. Though singer Justin Sane’s voice is still the same, the production quality has gone up (maybe too much–it at times sounds overdone, not as raw), and especially on songs like “Power to the Peaceful,” and “Wake Up!” they’ve served up sing-along anthems that might suck people who’ve never bothered to vote into singing along. Clips of Bush’s speeches open the surprisingly melodic “Mind the G.A.T.T.” and “Operation Iraqi Liberation (O.I.L.).” You can hear the Fat Wreck Chords style, but there’s still raw street-punk energy and simple, honest anger here as well.

In a time that’s moved even less-politically motivated bands like the Bouncing Souls to write songs of protest, Anti-Flag have found their niche and brought out their best record yet. Buy this CD. And while you’re at it, think about what they’re saying. To paraphrase Emma Goldman, this is a revolution I can dance to.


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