A-F Records has announced a new livestream festival this Saturday, March 28th.
What is a politically-charged punk rock band to do as the world crumbles around them? Fight back. Anti-Flag have made their most immediate record in quite some time on 20/20 Vision, one directly has the POTUS in mind with of all of the fist-pumping anthems to be found here. On their 12th studio album, the band has little left to prove, yet they continue to deliver some of the most consistently excellent punk rock found in music.
Opening up with the current single “Hate Conquers All,” one that intersperses Trump-dialogue about protesters, Anti-Flag waste little time getting down to the business at hand. With lyrics such as, “Hate conquers all / In the ashes of the fall / With our backs against the wall / Watch the empire fall / Watch the nation dissolve,” the band makes it crystal clear of the urgency of the political situation going on in DC. The song feels like a call to arms for people to wake the fuck up on all of the terror taking place in our very own country.
Our previous record had come out not that long ago, and it really wasn’t on any of our minds to sit down and write another record so quickly. I just think seeing the xenophobia with the way that Trump was talking about asylum seekers in Central America and Mexico, obviously with the separation of the children from their parents [and] keeping children in prisons and cages and the religious discrimination with the Muslim ban caused it all to snowball to the point where the songs were starting to be written. We just felt like when we look back on history, we wanted people to know during this time where we stood and that we didn’t just stay silent. And we also wanted an opportunity to write our own future, you know? Our record is not just a criticism of Donald Trump, although it’s definitely that, but we also try to offer a lot of optimism with the record. When we organize against these things that are obviously crimes against humanity and crimes against our planet, we can write to share them, and we can point things in a positive direction. So when you look at our songs like “Unbreakable” or “20/20 Vision,” you know that “20/20 Vision” is a song about where we could go. And it’s a very different direction than the current administration.
“You realize, like, lives are literally being destroyed. Whether it’s LGBTQ people seeing their suicide rates going up in that community — you’ve seen obviously what’s happening with undocumented people with kids being put in concentration camps, so, it goes on and on,” Sane says when voicing his frustration and dismay with how the United States is currently operating under Trump’s administration.
I think that led into this acoustic piece perfectly because we find ourselves chasing our tail with Donald Trump where the story changes every fucking minute. It’s hard not to be knee jerk reactionary to them because they are all vital and important things that are happening. There are still kids in fucking cages. The narrative has changed. How do we let our art not become just as much static and noise as everything else? This was a way for us to revisit some ideas and themes over the last two records that got lost in the shuffle because we have to talk about so many different things and so many different moments.