Review: Anti-Flag – The People or the Gun by underground
August 14, 2009, 6:08 pm
Filed under: Music | Tags: , , , ,

As a fan of this band for many years I may be something of an exception in their older fanbase. When The People of the Gun was released, while many older fans heralded the Pittsburgh four-piece’s return to a minor label and to their earlier sound, I was mourning a lost opportunity for the band.

Don’t get me wrong – I love their older stuff. But after the fairly experimental Bright Lights of America, which was a bit hit and miss (many songs were perhaps too long), I was excited to see where the band would go. Instead of pushing the punk envelope, Anti-Flag opted to revert back to their sound of old, which fails for me, because their bratty and sometimes naive protest songs just don’t seem to apply to a band that should have matured. If I want to hear something off Underground Network, Die for the Government, or Mobilize, I’ll put on those albums.

The People and the Gun is a quality record, although there are a few low lights and even fewer highlights. Some of the album is painful, such as the lyrically pathetic The Economy is Suffering – Let it Die, but there are glimpses of brilliance. The Gre(A)t Depression is refreshing on the album for its creativity, while still possessing the Anti-Flag singalong typical of their back catalogue, and When all the Lights go out could fit in on any of their previous albums such is it the quintessential Anti-Flag song.

Anti-Flag postponed? How will I vent my post election blues? by underground
November 16, 2008, 8:44 am
Filed under: Music, Politics | Tags: , , , , , , ,

Pittsburgh’s Anti-Flag were to offer New Zealanders an avenue to let off some energy and some political rage on December 3, but according to their website they will be postponing their Australian and New Zealand tour “until further notice” due to “circumstances beyond our control”, whatever that means. Looking at the upcoming overseas schedule they won’t be returning until at least the middle of next year. Holders of tickets are advised to return to place of purchase and get a refund.

I was looking forward to this show like nothing else. Not just because the two previous times I have seen them were for pathetically short slots at festivals, and not just because even during these short shows they totally kicked arse, but because I was looking forward to running around in a sweaty mosh pit full of like minded individuals singing political slogans at the top of my lungs. How better to get over being sold out by your countrymen and women? Man I love this band!

Oh well, I suppose I’ll be waiting for Rise Against on March 31 then.

Confessions of a fast food junkie by underground

Ideologically I should be a vegetarian, but I just can’t do it. It’s not even that I love meat too much to stop eating it. I don’t like vegetables enough. And it would be too inconvenient. I like to grab a cheap burger when I can’t be bothered waiting or making something myself. It’s not even that I like the burgers that much, it’s just that I get cravings. As you can see I’m not a big eater. I like lollies quite a bit. And nuts. Chips are good too. But I need to get a good filling feed every now and then, so that I don’t lose more weight and faint or die. So I walk down Queen Street and pick myself some fast food. Will it be a Whopper today or a Big Mac?

I confess I feel guilty. Nothing feels more hypocritical then walking back up to uni with Anti-Flag playing in my earphones wearing my Strike Anywhere hoodie whilst clutching a bag of McDonald’s? But I can’t help it. And it is it really that bad? Continue reading

Music to vote to by underground

As elections loom in New Zealand and the United States, some songs become particularly relevant. Before I cast my vote on November 8th, my MP3 player will probably be playing Bad Religion’s “I want to conquer the world”, or “You are the government”. I fear the following day it might be “Fuck Armageddon, this is hell”! I think American’s would be best listening to Nofx’s “The idiots are taking over”, with a line that could almost refer to Sarah Palin. Hopefully they will be playing a more optimistic song the following day!

Alright, here are my top ten (modern) punk songs to vote to: Continue reading

Lagwagon in New Zealand and Australia by underground

Sure I’m a little slow on this, I have been slack, but I’m keen to draw people’s attention to what should be a killer show. Hot the heals of the announcement Pittsburgh punkers Anti-Flag are heading to our shores later in the year, Fat Wreck’s Lagwagon are touring in November. I haven’t seen these guys, so I am really looking forward to this one. From what I’ve heard they are awesome live and totally went off when they were here a few years back. I wasn’t that keen on them then, for some reason, so I’m something of a late convert to these guys. Anyway i saw the Gimmes in January and Joey has a lot of fun on stage, so I assume they should be a blast to see as well. They are touring in support of their latest EP “I think my brother used to listen to Lagwagon”, which I have to get my hands on and possibly review (or Amberleigh). Hell I only have “Hoss” and the “live in a dive” album, but I’m pretty stoked for this one. Should make for a pretty sweet summer, especially if we get some good genre acts turn up for the BDO ’09. Continue reading

Anti-Flag in New Zealand and Australia by underground

Anyone who checked this band out at this year’s Big Day Out or Taste of Chaos a few years back will be excited about the news that Anti-Flag is returning to New Zealand and Australia in December. Considering both those shows the band played as many tracks as possible in the short-length sets the band were allotted, they should be exceptional at their own headlining shows. I understand the gigs are likely to be charity shows, where the band asks fans to bring something to donate to the chosen local charity. I reckon this is awesome, because it is one thing to see a band sing about caring and politics and shit, but this is an active way to make a difference, involve fans and help the community the band is touring in. Continue reading

That’s not punk! by underground

What the punk?

Yes that’s right, punk is dead
It’s just another cheap product for the consumers head
Bubblegum rock on plastic transistors
Schoolboy sedition backed by big time promoters
CBS promote the Clash
Ain’t for revolution, it’s just for cash
Punk became a fashion just like hippy used to be
Ain’t got a thing to do with your or me
Punk is Dead – Crass

Punk died in the 1980s. I wish they’d stop trying to resurrect it. I’ve debated this over and over. Punk is dead, kids. Get over it.” Urban dictionary

Punk rock isn’t any more alive and thriving today than psychedelic rock or new wave. As far as the broader culture is concerned, it’s been dead for awhile and it ain’t coming back.J.P. Gorman

Is punk dead? Having now fractured into so many sub-genres, it can be easy to see why people would look back 20-30 years if asked what music is punk. Additionally, considering the only punk music that gets any real exposure is pop punk, with lyrics typically about romance or bratty teenagers, or emo, which I will refrain from attacking, it is understandable that many people would believe the punk ethos to have either died, or to have dispersed elsewhere. However my friends, punk is not dead. It has, however, evolved and thankfully matured from its chaotic and often unintelligent infancy. Continue reading