A Benefit For The Victims Of Violent Crime

Written by: PP on 05/10/2007 03:27:40

This is one album you shouldn't download. Not because it's a bad album, but because by downloading it you are simply being an asshole. It's title says it the best: "A Benefit For The Victims Of Violent Crime". What that means in English is that all proceedings from the newest release by US political punkers Anti-Flag will be donated to The Centre For Victims Of Violent Crime, which gives support and advice to victims and their families for free. In case you didn't know, Anti-Flag bassist Chris #2's sister and her boyfriend were brutally assaulted and subsequently murdered in Pittsburgh earlier this year, leaving behind a young daughter and a son, who were robbed from having parents at such an early stage of their lives. This was obviously shocking to not only Chris #2 but the whole band, as tragedies like that one touch everyone around you, and they thought the best way to show their support for all families experiencing similar trauma was to write this record. So every Euro/Dollar spent on this album will go to a good cause, and not a cent lands into the pockets greedy record labels or the band, given that the record is released through Anti-Flag's own A-F Records.

Almost every song on the record is equally good or better than those on 2006's "For Blood And Empire". "No Paradise" is a quintessential Anti-Flag song with high toned melodic guitars and Justin Sane's angst-filled vocals. As usual to the band's style, it is highly critical of world events: "the kids are sick and tired of the news today" being the key line of the song. It's catchy and it's punk rock, exactly how an Anti-Flag song should sound like. "No Future" opens with a chugging bass-line and some great gang vocals, and overall it sounds a lot like "The Terror State" era Anti-Flag, a good trait in my opinion. The same goes for "Anthem For The New Millenium Generation", which features gang vocals and Justin's clean vocals duelling line by line. "Corporate Rock Still Sucks" tickles my ideological beliefs a little too much than needed, but on top of that it's a more pop punk-ish song, slightly bouncier and more joyous than the others on the record, but nonetheless awesome. "Marc Defiant", the last new song, is again commonplace Anti-Flag with aggressive fast vocals backed by gang vocals and power chords. If these six new songs are supposed to be any indication of what's to come in Spring 2008, it is laying out for a hell of a good punk rock year right there.

The second half of the album is basically live recordings of some of the band's most popular songs: "No Borders No Nations", "One Trillion Dollars", "The Project For A New American Century", "Turncoat" and "911 For Peace" are all well represented here. The recording quality couldn't be much better, it captures both the slightly rawer guitar sound of a live environment without completely destroying the songs, and although you can't really hear the crowd during the songs, there's a massive cheer audible following each song. Some crowd-control is added in the middle of the songs, like "ARE YOU READY?" or "BRING THOSE FISTS OF FURY", and everything else you'd expect at an Anti-Flag show, not forgetting the essential rant against George W Bush: the starting lyrics of "No Borders No Nations" have been changed to "So if George Bush wants to end terrorism he should go ahead and kill himself" .

Overall, I'm giving 10 for the cause and the ideology behind this record. It's only six songs, but most of them are really good, effectively restoring my expectactions for the band when they eventually do release their next album. Perhaps there aren't any Turncoats or Police Stories on this album, but it's definitely a step in the right direction. BUY THIS RECORD.

Download: No Paradise, Corporate Rock Still Sucks
For the fans of: Propagandhi, Rise Against, The Unseen
Listen: Myspace

Release date 02.10.2007
A-F Records

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