By: Vishal Bajpai
Anti Flag’s eighth album, The General Strike is their most pop-like album yet. The band has followed their usual trend since their album Underground Network of being more accessible to a more varied audience while keeping their political message intact. Composed of only thirteen songs, this is one of their shorter albums.
Their first single off the album, “A Neo-Liberal Anthem”, is definitely their “poppiest” song yet. Filled with constant repetition, melodic singing, and tamed down guitar, it really makes you wonder where their punk went. This isn’t an isolated incident; a majority of their songs have become overtly written for less hardcore audiences. Their fourth song on the record, “This is the New Sound”, seems to sum it up.
Occasionally however, the band does bring back their older sound; songs like “Broken Bones” definitely remind us of an Anti Flag that wasn’t afraid to scream.
Even though Anti Flag is becoming more accessible, they aren’t becoming the next Blink 182 or Sum 41. Every song in the album still conveys the message of resentment for the status quo and that change is needed. The song “This is the New Sound” has a music video in which Anti Flag worked with Amnesty International to speak out against the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA). Even though their sound has changed, their vision is still the same, and stands in strong solidarity with Occupy Wall Street, like the song “The Ranks of the Masses Rising”.
If you have been a fan of Anti Flag from the start you might be disappointed with the lack of the normal Anti Flag energy, but the change in sound can definitely attract a wider audience into their message. Hopefully, Anti Flag defies their ongoing trend and whips out a real punk album soon. Until then, however, albums like this one are barely filling.