How could the music year 2023 start better than with with music from my beloved hockey hometown Pittsburgh? Anti-Flag are legends of the punk business – and latest after I featured there collaboration with German artist Campino in my 2nd December 2022 Songs of the Week, I was really looking forward to their new album. On 6th January 2023, they released Lies They Tell Our Children.
Anti-Flag – About The Artists
The story of Anti-Flag intially felt to be a short one. Justine Sane and Pat Thetic formed the project in 1988, but the break broke up after a single show and several musicians. In 1992, they tried it again – and the punk rock band from Pittsburgh is active since then. Sane (vocals, lead guitar) and Pat (drums, percussion) are active since then. The current lineup includes Christ No. 2 Barker (bass, vocals), and Chris Head (guitars), both are active since the late 1990’s. The band started to release albums in the mid-1990’s, but established in the US indie music scene in the early 2000’s. Their fifth album release The Terror State was a Top 10 entry in the US Indie Album Charts and a Top 100 in the overall Billboard Charts. Lies They Tell Our Children is the thirteenth Anti-Flag studio album overall.
Anti-Flag – Lies They Tell Our Children – Track by Track
The eleven song album lasts 33 minutes. Six songs of the album have already been published as single releases.
1. Sold Everything
Despite the album features a lot of a interesting collaborations, the opener does not come with guest artists. Sold Everything has a nice touch of punk and rock, but also feels a bit of folk-alike. Thus, despite the song just takes 91 seconds, it does have a certain touch.
2. Modern Meta Medicine (feat Jessie Leach)
The first collaboration of the album is Modern Meta Medicine with Killswitch Engage’s singer Jesse David Leach. The song is rather rocking and does not have a too strong punk touch. The chorus is a great growl-a-long one. Very nice one.
3. Laugh. Cry. Smile. Die. (feat. Shane Told)
Shane Told is another vocal addition to Lies They Tell Our Children. The Silverstein leader is giving a stronger indie and punk touch to the track than you felt in the track before. Very straight, powerful guitar rock with great sections to have interaction with the band during an Anti-Flag show.
4. The Fight Of Our Lives (feat. Tim McIlrath & Bryan Baker)
Tim McIlrath from Rise Against and Bryan Baker from Bad Religion – this album is indeed a “who is who” listen of the world of punk rock. Pat Thetic is driving this song on the drums side, which comes with straight, speedy sections as well as rather slow and groovy parts. Great work on the vocal side as well.
5. Imperialism (feat. Ashrita Kumar)
Ashrita is the first female add-on on this album. Imperialism. Unfortunately, it takes a while until the Pinkshift singer can add a really nice flavor to these roughly three minutes.
6. Victory Or Death (We Gave ‘Em Hell) (feat. Campino)
This song just made me put the 2023 Anti-Flag album to the very top of my envisaged reviews. Campino represents the German punk scene – which also illustrates the reputation of the Dusseldorf singer and his band in the international punk scene. The song is a great fun and reminds me of shanty sounds.
7. The Hazardous
While a lot of the tracks before have already been known to fans, The Hazardous opens a section of three so-far unpublished songs. This time, Anti-Flag are doing the recording on their own. The song is a bit slower and also slightly more quiet than most of its predessor. But the melody and Justine Sane’s vocal work definitely gives you an enjoyable listen.
8. Shallow Graves (feat. Tre Burt)
California artist Tre Burt is supporting Anti-Flag in this one. The song has a lot of potential to me, but I struggle with the arrangement, which feels to move your attention away from the good chorus.
9. Work And Struggle
The angry Work And Struggle has a nice straight (and bit of “dirty”) touch, but overall does not touch me too much. One reason for that might also be that the track is just 2:22 minutes and thus rather short.
10. Nvrevr (feat. Stacey Dee)
From the shortest (apart from the intro track) to the longest song: Anti-Flag and Bad Cop/Bad Cop’s Stacey Dee give the fans a 4:40 minute listen. I like Dee’s influence on the song – I would, however, wish that she was a bit more present in this one. Nonetheless, one of the best tracks of the album.
11. Only In My Head
The 2:46 minutes of Only In My Head close the album. The track has a nice ease and catch, so that the finale is definitely an enjoyable experience. Stomping drums and good punk rock melody.
Anti-Flag – Lies They Tell Our Children – Spotify
Here is the album on Spotify:
Anti-Flag – Lies They Tell Our Children – My View
Over three decades of punk – and Anti-Flag are still doing great. Lies They Tell Our Children is a very good listen, not only for fans of the band. If you want to rock and have some fun after the holidays, these Pennsylvania guys give you a decent soundtrack.
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