This ‘Anti-Flag’ review was written by Chiara Ciulli, a GIGsoup contributor.

Spring time has always meant new life and rebirth: it’s the perfect time of year to enjoy nature’s colours and wildlife; it’s the moment to be fresh,young and energetic. It’s the right moment to feel new vibrations and wake up after a long winter coming to mature reflections and new concepts. Nothing more than the new album by American punk rock band Anti-Flag could fit so perfectly into this cheerful re-birth.

Released on May 26th “American Spring” represents the ninth studio album from the Pittsburgh band. The LP marks the band’s first release for Spinefarm Records after releasing their previous two albums on SideOneDummy Records.

Well known for political actvism and advocacy of progressive political action groups such as Greepeace and Amnesty International (the latter who premiered this last record on its own website), this new album continues its peaceful battle against violence and human right abuses. “Fabled World” and “ The Great Divide”, opening tracks of “American Spring”, symbolise this spirit of recourse giving like a bucketful of cold water straight onto the listener’s face.

Even with the lyrical themes and rhythmic sound similar to the band’s previous work , it’s clear that a process of maturation has been taken from a teenage angryness to a more introspective reflection with a cleaner sound and a more accurate work on all instrumentation. This becomes quite noticeable on tracks “Sky is Falling” and “Break Something” which contain tones that become darker and deeper, the vocals deepen and become slower allowing the guitar to take centre-stage – it seems as though these tracks are meant to convey all the disillusion and bad feeling about world’s decadence.

“Without End” and “To Hell With Boredom” offer a slight detour from their LP stable-mates. The lyrics lose their meaning among a sequence of confused sounds and random shouts and the band momentarily lapse into previous moments of teenage angst where punk music is no more than a way to take your personal revenge on the entire world.

Thankfully normal service is resumed for the last two tracks “Low Expectation” and “The Debate Is Over (If You Want It)”. The energy returns and gives a fitting conclusion to the album, with a positive note of freedom.

A real pearl on the LP is “Brandenburg Gate”. This track was been recorded with Tim Armstrong –  American musician, songwriter and producer (best known as the singer/guitarist for the punk rock band Rancid and hip hop/punk rock supergroup the Transplants). It’s a quite triumphant track that stands head and shoulders above it’s contemporaries.

‘American Spring’ is out now on Spinefarm Records.

The full track-listing for “American Spring” is as follows…

“Fabled World”

“The Great Divide”

“Brandenburg Gate”

“Sky is Falling”

“Walk Away”

“Song For Your Enemy”

“Set Yourself on Fire”

“All of the Poison, All of the Pain”

“Break Something”

“Without End”

“Believer”

“To Hell With Boredom”

“Low Expectations”

“The Debate is Over (If You Want It)”

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