“The hardest battle you’re ever going to have to fight is the battle to just be you”. If there was any indication Anti-Flag would return with a catastrophic bang, it would be the fact the Pittsburgh punk rockers are pissed off with people’s apathy. For a mere 27 minutes, The General Strike has the quartet voicing their opinion, pushing a combination of The Terror State and Die For Your Government during the self-produced album’s first half, where fissuring string work (“Controlled Opposition”, “1915”) and anthems about injustice (“The Neoliberal Anthem”, “This Is The New Sound”) stand admirably tall. But the tight aggressive punk mentality that follows is not something you’d expect. Anti-Flag have always found themselves in the middle of a shark tank when it comes to capturing an individual’s attention for more than just a few listens, and even nine albums in, their hunger isn’t pacified. It deepens into a paralyzing growl rather than a complaint with “I Don’t Wanna” and “Resist” trading chord chugging and paces that engineer wounds, and when the declarations are about to hit their peak – a point where even the bass trembles – they riot into a combustion of blister-inducing hardcore (“Bullshit Opportunities”). The songs aren’t family-friendly but aren’t synthetic either and is sort of why The General Strike kicks the television in trying to be a voice of reason. Occupy movements and social injustice aren’t fluffy subjects, and neither is the rip of underground thrash punk.
Download: “Bullshit Opportunities”, “Broken Bones”, “Nothing Recedes Like Progress”
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