Punk rock has long been, and hopefully long will be, the voice of the oppressed. There's nothing the genre is afraid of forging into, whether it be governmental issues or pushing social agendas. There's a certain degree of seriousness a band has to take to make sure their message isn't lost in a misguided mess. That's the trap punk veterans Anti-Flag falls into. It's hard to take anything out of Anti-Flag's American Fall.
Anti-Flag have been in the game for a long time, and it's only natural that they've changed things around. The band's sound is like an edgier Green Day in its current state, and it's not a horrible thing. It begins on a strong note with 'American Attraction' with a big and driven instrumental. It's call and response formula keeps its energy up, but unfortunately the band doesn't get off to a running start. The formula is repeated pretty much throughout the entire song, and it quickly gets old as nothing changes. A similar issue occurs on 'When The Wall Falls,' which has awesome choruses but the verses are just so silly that it loses its significance that it clearly wants to reach.
Anti-Flag's pursuit of edginess really clouded their effectiveness of delivering a message in American Fall. So much of the album just sounds wrong in the context of the sound. The lyrics clearly scream protest, but with songs like 'Digital Blackout,' the calls come off sounding immature and flat. These choices just sound like they have no merit to them as a result of the approach they take. It doesn't suit them, and it doesn't make for the call-to-arms that they want to achieve.
It's hard to take anything out of Anti-Flag's American Fall, its hunt for edginess to appeal to an angry crowd just making it sound flat and ineffective. The band's punk voice doesn't seem to want to come out in the right ways on this record, and if this is what it sounds to take their sound to a "modern" stage, it may be time to return to that old phase.
Favorite Track: American Attraction
Least Favorite Track: Digital Blackout
Rating: 66 / 100
Stream or buy American Fall on Apple Music: