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Music Review: Anti-Flag – A Benefit For Victims Of Violent Crime

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Political punk rockers Anti-Flag have released a limited edition EP called A Benefit For Victims of Violent Crime. The EP contains five new tracks and five live tracks that were recorded at Mr. Smalls in Pittsburgh, PA last April. The CD has been released under Anti-Flag’s own label A-F Records.

The Pittsburgh, PA crew has been together since 1988 and is one of the stand out punk acts in the music scene today. This is a band out there that encourages kids to get involved. The music they have created and opinions they speak have gotten many kids to vote and believe in freedom of choice. They have no shame in speaking their mind. They oppose the choices the government has been making and opposes war.

A lot of people who do not know what Anti-Flag is all about think they are a band of hate. The name alone scares parents who are not involved with their children who sport Anti-Flag hoodies. Others think of the band as sellouts and fake. Believe what you must, this band expresses their views musically and I think they do a fine job in doing so.

To the closed minded, Anti-Flag is not anti-American. They are for America but do not necessarily agree with the way it is running. Ask them what they think about our government and get ready for a long conversation. They have their own views and opinions on the president and make it very clear at their live concerts. This is not anything new though, remember Woodstock?

This release is a little more personal to the band members especially bassist Chris #2.

This past February while the band was on tour in Canada they received a phone call that would change their lives forever. Chris #2’s sister and her boyfriend were murdered. She left behind two children. This uncalled-for violent crime resulted in Anti-Flag putting together this EP in hopes that it would help anyone else who has gone through such a misfortune and get more people involved to help stop violent crimes.

Proceeds from sales of the EP will go to the Center for Victims of Violence and Crime and also towards educational bonds.

“Oh, Katrina,” is a twenty second interlude that covers the war, rising gas prices, and soldiers dying in the name of peace in a southern folk verse. I would like to see this turn into a full length song.

The catchy yet political “Anthem For The New Millennium Generation” screams for not going to war. Anti-Flag takes you along for a protest song with a message that you can easily sing along to. I can already visualize the fists flying high at the live shows while they blast this song.

“Corporate Rock Still Sucks” sings about the daily grind of most Americans who do the same thing over and over. It is an addictive track I might add.

“Marc Defiant” is a quick little punk rock ode to the lead singer of the disbanded Pittsburgh band The Code. If you are a fan of Anti-Flag and have not heard of The Code you really should see what they were all about.

As an added bonus to this EP, Anti-Flag added some live tracks to accompany their new material. The live tracks make this EP even more worthy as the quality is just amazing.

Right at the beginning of “No Borders, No Nations,” the crowd goes crazy as “so if George Bush wants to end terrorism he should go ahead and kill himself” is announced. The song continues and the crowd’s energy makes this track just that more enjoyable. The remaining live tracks have the same energy from the band and the fans. Other tracks to check out are “Turncoat” and “The Project For A New American Century.”

I find it suiting that Chris #2 (bassist/vocalist) is on the cover of this CD as it is a dedication for his sister. I could not imagine going through something so terrible in life. It is nice to see Anti-Flag do something about it to get the fans educated and involved. The songs are not really focused on what happened or on revenge, but more towards getting this country in order, and being who you want to be.

Violent crimes happen every day. It could happen to you or a friend without any given notice. For more information about what violent crimes constitute as or if you have been in one and would like support I urge you to check out www.cvvc.org.

This non-profit organization was created to get communities involved in stopping violent crimes. It does not happen just to those people. It can happen to anyone. Don’t just think about violent crimes going away all by themselves, become a part of an organization, and help communities around you find ways to stop it.

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About Brian McConville

  • Bruiser

    Right at the beginning of “No Borders, No Nations,” the crowd goes crazy as “so if George Bush wants to end terrorism he should go ahead and kill himself” is announced.

    Well isn’t that just great – a record to benefit victims of violent crime that advocates suicide. Ain’t those Hot Topic punks soooo cute?