Published Jan 14, 2020It is evidence of a depressing state of the world that, by Anti-Flag's 11th album, their signature blend of left-wing politics, anti-war messages and patented punk sound had become more relevant than ever, rather than tired and repetitive.
With the release of 20/20 Vision, the Pennsylvanian punk group take aim directly at the Trump administration, Christian white nationalists and neo-fascists, calling out their targets by name while simultaneously calling on their audience to fight back.
The album begins with a sample from one Trump's infamous speeches regarding the silencing of protestors, before breaking into the angry and fatalistic opening track, "Hate Conquers All." While the lyrics seem defeatist and hopeless, the album attempts to redeem hope in a hopeless political climate with tracks like "Don't Let the Bastards Get You Down," "Unbreakable" and the title track, which asks the listener, "which side are you on?" in the divisive and hate-charged political atmosphere of 2020.
Sonically, the album features the driving rhythm, catchy "whoa-oh"s and walking bass lines that Anti-Flag fans will be familiar with, while still maintaining a musical progression with more polished and produced sounds and thematic cohesion. While musically, the album is what we've come to expect from Anti-Flag, the message behind 20/20 Vision is one of identifying the enemies of democracy and equality, while also envisioning a brighter future through active political engagement. (A-F)