Album review: Anti-Flag – Lies They Tell Our Children

Pittsburgh punks Anti-Flag take point-blank aim at humanity’s critical threats…

Album review: Anti-Flag – Lies They Tell Our Children
John Longbottom

During the pandemic one billionaire was created every 30 hours. In 2022, it was estimated that one million people were plunged into extreme poverty every 33 hours. As a result, wealth inequality is currently cutting through society like a blowtorch through butter. There’s also the not-so-small matter of an utterly pointless war in Ukraine. Oh yeah, and the burning issue of impending ecological disaster. Yay. Happy 2023, you guys.

But every underdog story needs a killer soundtrack, right? Just look at Rocky. Karate Kid. Uhh… Dodgeball. Here, on their 13th album, Pittsburgh punks Anti-Flag may just have written the soundtrack to the greatest underdog story of all-time: The People vs… well, all of the insane nonsense we’re up against right now. Sure, that’s a relatively small silver lining in the scheme of things but, c’mon, they’re just one band.

Lies They Tell Our Children is billed as Anti-Flag’s first concept album – the concept presumably being that we’re all now the dog from the ‘This is fine…’ burning house meme – and sees the band in fighting form as they lay bare, and lay waste to, the root causes of our most imminent threats.

To help hammer home their message of resistance, reformation and reversal, the band are joined by no less than eight friends including Killswitch Engage’s Jesse Leach, Silverstein’s Shane Told, Bad Cop/Bad Cop’s Stacy Dee, Pinkshift’s Ashrita Kumar, Bad Religion’s Brian Baker and Rise Against’s Tim McIlrath. And believe us when we say that every song is delivered with such searing defiance, it makes Guy Fawkes look like some sort of bootlicker.

Victory Or Death’s cry of ‘When the world starts burning ring the bell / We can say we were there when it fell / We gave ’em hell! Gave ’em hell! Gave ’em hell!’ is just dying to be roared along to at a festival this summer. Imperialism (the song, not the policy) is as righteous as it is infectious, while Work & Struggle is tantamount to a call to arms for the working classes.

Lies They Tell Our Children is a truly great and timely album from a band who continue to fearlessly, articulately and aggressively address the issues of the here and now. Put simply, Anti-Flag have never been more essential, on point or outright pissed off.

Verdict: 4/5

For fans of: Bad Religion, Rise Against, Green Day

Lies They Tell Our Children is released on January 6 via Spinefarm

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