Despite Anti-Flag’s 20-plus years of protest songs, the world has rarely felt more in need of the Pennsylvania punks’ frothing takedowns of corrupt powers and social injustice. Recognising this, the quartet have broken their own rule with 12th album 20/20 Vision. “We have actively chosen to not attack presidents directly [in the past], either with album art or songs about certain times in history, because we recognise that the issues we’re dealing with are cyclical,” stated bassist and vocalist Chris #2 upon the record’s announcement. But this time, a morphed, four-eyed image of Donald Trump makes up the album’s artwork, and it’s an early indication of the blunt attitude that follows.
It’s actually Trump who utters the first words you hear, as a sample of his infamous speech encouraging the brutalising of protestors begins to play against doomy guitars, opening inaugural track Hate Conquers All. From here, the song bursts open like a blister, as a hot-headed tirade from dual vocalists Justin Sane and Chris #2 condemns the manipulation and hate they see dividing their home country.