Join the Socialist Party Join us today!

Printable version Printable version

Facebook   Twitter

Link to this page: http://www.socialistparty.org.uk/issue/532/4088

From The Socialist newspaper, 7 May 2008

Album review: The Bright Lights of America

Anti-Flag

To me Anti-Flag have always been the quintessential anti-war band. In September 2001 they were half-way through recording an album when the 9/11 events occurred. Like most people the events stunned them.

However, when reactionary rumouring about retaliatory attacks began, they immediately wrote a song against any proposed invasion entitled 911 for Peace, and released the song for free on their website.

I remember them much more for the tour they did in this country against the Iraq war in the beginning of 2003, where they linked up with the anti-war movement and advertised their actions at the gigs on the tour.

Their most recent album, The Bright Lights of America, continues this theme drawing on analogies of the US 'empire' currently bogged down in Iraq and Afghanistan and the decaying Roman Empire in the song The Modern Rome Burning.

The Ink and the Quill is a damning criticism of US imperialism from Chile to Fallujah and counterpoises the money spent in Iraq in the interests of big business, to what would have been needed to repair the levees around New Orleans and reduce the devastation from Hurricane Katrina in that city. Shadow of the Dead points out the legacy of past movements against invasions and occupations.

Alienation and the lack of a future for young people is another theme running through the album. After one of the band's relations was murdered they released a benefit album for victim support charities.

However, rather than sink into the usual reactionary 'law and order' response, If You Wanna Steal shows how capitalism is a system that perpetuates crime and impoverishes many people.

The Bright Lights of America focuses on the limited futures available to people, while Spit in the Face condemns the greed and individualism the system breeds.

Musically, the album is somewhat different to previous albums, using orchestral compositions, child choirs (to great effect in Good and Ready), harmonicas and more, blended in among the band's usual punk/punk-rock style. It mostly works and there is a good variation of pace in the songs, from the incredibly fast Smartest Bomb to the fairly slow (for them) Go West.

If you've listened to their previous albums it comes as a bit of a shock, but it grows on you.

Iain Dalton

Why not click here to join the Socialist Party, or click here to donate to the Socialist Party.


In The Socialist 7 May 2008:

Coventry: Socialist election success shows the way forward

Meltdown for Brown - but he won't change course

Elections round-up and results

Election victories for class fighters

Racist BNP have no solutions!


Socialist Party news and analysis

Grangemouth refinery: Oil strike wins concessions

May Day marches

Defend abortion rights

TUC attacks Labour on working poverty

Bangor Socialist Students fight tuition fees

Obituary: Ray Apps

Album review: The Bright Lights of America


Socialist Party Marxist analysis

France 1968: Capitalism brought to its knees

How workers and youth are building a Left alternative in France

Sri Lanka: 25 years of war and conflict


May Day Greetings

May Day Greetings 2008 in The Socialist (p4)

May Day Greetings 2008, The Socialist (p6)

May Day Greetings 2008, The Socialist (p7)

May Day Greetings 2008, The Socialist (p9)

May Day Greetings 2008, The Socialist (p10)

May Day Greetings 2008, The Socialist (p11)

May Day Greetings 2008, The Socialist (p15)


Socialist Party workplace news

Unison witch-hunt: Defend the four, come to the lobby!

Mark Thomas condemns witch-hunt

'Raising the roof' at Usdaw conference

Support Shelter workers

National Shop Stewards Network second conference

Come to the 2008 Campaign for a New Workers' Party conference


 

Home   |   The Socialist 7 May 2008   |   Join the Socialist Party

Subscribe   |   Donate  




Related links:

Anti-war:

triangleTories Out demo - Photos

triangleAttacks ratchet-up Syrian conflict and fuel tensions between powers

triangleDebates on building the anti-Trump movement

War:

triangleOctober 1917 reviews: 'More bright than any heaven'

triangleRussia, October 1917: When workers took power

triangleShocking insight into Isis

Iraq:

triangle'From Militant to the Socialist Party' - new book now available

triangleHow Blairism sank its claws into the Labour Party

US:

triangleObesity epidemic: end food market anarchy

Chile:

triangleChe Guevara 50 years on - revolutionary socialist and fighter

Capitalism:

triangleConference on state spies and sabotage: who's watching who?

Reports and campaigns

Reports and campaigns

18/10/17

Art

'Dazzling' Bad Art show points to socialist future

18/10/17

Democratic rights

Conference on state spies and sabotage: who's watching who?

18/10/17

Council

Sheffield Labour council threatens peaceful protesters with prison

18/10/17

South West Wales

Hundreds turn out for rally aimed at removing west Wales Tory MP

18/10/17

NHS

Uprising to save the NHS!

18/10/17

Socialism

Can you donate to the Socialism 2017 appeal?

18/10/17

East London

No cuts - hands off King George A&E!

18/10/17

North London

North London hospital workers fight cuts and job losses

18/10/17

Leeds

Striking back against the sackers' charter at Leeds University

18/10/17

BAE

Nationalise to save jobs at BAE Systems

18/10/17

Royal Mail

Workers' anger increases after Royal Mail bosses block strike - back postal workers

18/10/17

Schools

Schools "can't go any further" - stop the cuts: set deficit budgets now

18/10/17

PCS

PCS ballots members to send message to government: scrap the pay cap

18/10/17

Swansea

Socialist Students 'welcome' Hillary Clinton to Swansea

18/10/17

Local government

Unite local government sector plans strike ballot

triangleMore Reports and campaigns articles...


Join the Socialist Party
Subscribe to Socialist Party publications
Donate to the Socialist Party

triangle13 Oct The end of the Tories?

triangle11 Oct Nasty party imploding...drive out the Tories

triangle11 Oct CWU fights court attempt to stop national strike

triangle11 Oct The fight against racial discrimination is tied to fighting against...

triangle11 Oct Catalonia: Workers can finish what Puigdemont won't

triangle6 Oct Boeing bust-up threatens thousands of skilled jobs

triangle4 Oct The nasty party turns on itself... but the Tories must be driven out

More ...

triangle18 Oct Warrington & St Helens Socialist Party: 1917-2017; the October Russian Revolution

triangle18 Oct Hackney Socialist Party: 100 years ago - the Bolshevik-led revolution

triangle18 Oct Tower Hamlets Socialist Party: Capitalism in Crisis - is Corbyn the answer?

triangle19 Oct Waltham Forest Young Socialists: Deaths in police custody

More ...

Socialist Party Facebook page
Socialist Party on Twitter
Visit us on Youtube

Archive

Archives:

October 2017

September 2017

August 2017

July 2017

June 2017

May 2017

April 2017

March 2017

February 2017

January 2017

2016

2015

2014

2013

2012

2011

2010

2009

2008

2007

2006

2005

2004

2003

2002

2001

2000

1999

Legal

SP RSS feed RSS

Platform setting: = No platform choice

V2