Anti-Flag
The Bright Lights Of America


2.0
poor

Review

by Ryan Flatley EMERITUS
May 17th, 2008 | 70 replies | 107,014 views


Release Date: 2008 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Anti-Flag still haven't grown up.

With Anti-Flag's eighth studio album, there are no surprises that The Bright Lights of America is about everything that sucks with America, yet again. Also, it will mark their second album on RCA records, who are one of the biggest record companies in the industry. With that, a quick rewind for anyone unaware; Anti-Flag is apparently anti-capitalism, yet they are aiding in capitalism by signing with juggernaut RCA. Regardless, Anti-Flag’s latest work strives for punk rock greatness, but ultimately falls short.

"Good And Ready" begins Bright Lights of American on a fresh note, straying away from standard punk riffs and drumming. Building off their new style, "Good and Ready" sounds similar to Against Me!'s pop-punk style, the New Wave era specifically, with orchestra bells creating a theatrical effect. In addition, Chris #2's complex bass lines create strong foundations that stick out for a better portion of the album. It is relief considering cliché songs like "The Modern Rome Burning" and "The Ink And The Quill (Be Afraid)" needs support in some form. The fast paced punk-affair "The Modern Rome Burning" is about how America is set up for its own downfall, which is hardly clever. On the other hand, parents, for whatever reason, let their kids sing in "The Ink And The Quill (Be Afraid)" to aide a monotonous chant (one of many). Behind both songs comes the same 'epic punk' sound they are for whatever reason striving for. It is clear they are trying hard to produce this larger-than-their-heads sound, and it ultimately fails after numerous tries.

The ambitious sound of The Bright Lights of America is a dreadful fifty-two minutes long; with an average song length over three minutes. "Vices" goes no where in what is the epitome of this album's length issues with repetitive, overwrought choruses and a lack of variations vocally. Listening to the inane lyrics (Justin Nane more like it) doesn't make it much better. In "The Bright Lights of America," they sing, ‘the bright lights of America/ life and death in a sold out 'Merica/ to live and die in the heart of America/ where they sell souls.' Seriously, is that the best Justin Sane and Chris #2 can do? While as catchy as "The Bright Lights of America" is, it is terribly cheesy. This is ironic because the title track, in essence, defines this album: great bass, better-than-average guitar, shoddy vocals, and crappy lyrics.

Anti-Flag can easily be fixed if they decide to finally write about a topic other than how the country they live in sucks (like it isn’t heard enough from everyone else in the world). The Bright Lights of American could have been more palatable given shorter song lengths with greater variation. Still, Anti-Flag has not lost their classic sound and "The Smartest Bomb" is a prime example, reminiscence to "Got the Numbers."

The bottom line is Anti-Flag are headed by a thirty-five-year old with a moniker that is fit for the age of kids who listen to him. Justin Sane's name (along with the rest of the member's aliases) alone proves this band cannot be taken seriously. After all, he has written about the same played-out topic for as long as I can remember. Instead of telling kids to read the newspaper or watch the news, Anti-Flag forces kids to listen to their opinions; like it holds any meaningful barring on the world’s politics. The only rationale explanation is they want thirteen-year-old kids to think the ideas of Anti-Flag are this eschewed vision of society and politics. Until Anti-Flag grows up, they’ll keep churning out meaningless propaganda in the form of 'punk rock.'



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2.6
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Comments:Add a Comment 
Iluvatar
Staff Reviewer
March 31st 2008



16081 Comments

Album Rating: 1.0

EPIX PHAIL

Intransit
March 31st 2008



2797 Comments


Good shit son etc. What I heard was pretty much garbage.

Iam138
March 31st 2008



76 Comments


I have listend to most of it off there myspace and I agree

StreetlightRock
Emeritus
March 31st 2008



3761 Comments


I saw these guys play a set at the Big Day Out and they played one or two songs off this... i think. It was sorta hard to tell 'cause they sounded pretty much all the same. They were a great live/festival act though.

Digging: Towers - Bel Air Highrise Plantation

ToWhatEnd
March 31st 2008



3172 Comments


Oh dang, I forgot this was out. I need to review this.

IsItLuck?
Emeritus
March 31st 2008



4926 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0

They were a great live/festival act though.

Yeah they do have pretty good performances (past all the stuff they talk about)

Digging: Joyce Manor - Never Hungover Again

StreetlightRock
Emeritus
March 31st 2008



3761 Comments


But thats whats makes it all so cute!

ToWhatEnd
March 31st 2008



3172 Comments


Yeah they do have pretty good performances (past all the stuff they talk about)
This is really true. I tend to get really into what they say until 20 minutes into their set (I've seen them live about six times including three Warped Tours) and after that say to myself what a guy behind me once said, "Less politics more rock."

Damrod
Moderator
April 1st 2008



1093 Comments


EPIC FAILURE!!!!!!

Sorry, could not resist after reading the summary... ;-) I could never really care or get into Anti-Flag. I always found them quite generic...

ukrocker21
April 1st 2008



63 Comments


Also, it will mark their second album on RCA records, who are one of the biggest record companies in the industry.
-------
That's kind of totaly against punk isnt it? against the biggest achieving companys who crush everyone else. Punk pisses me off at times. Blink: we hate zeppelin and long solos yet on our dvd we have a massive drum solo- hypocrits.
Never herd any of this bands stuf and after reading this i wont be soon. Good review

br3ad_man
Emeritus
April 1st 2008



2125 Comments


tbh this band was really fucking good live

gilescorey
April 1st 2008



23 Comments


I saw this band a long, long time ago - they were a lot of fun and a very energetic, enthusiastic show. What I don't get is how, not only as musicians but as PEOPLE, you can not change at all from then to now. I mean, sure, I was all like, "capitalism sucks!" when I was in middle school too, because I didn't have any money. But Now I run a Fortune 500 company and drive a H4 money-hybrid, which runs on money. Grow up.

rasputin
April 1st 2008



14516 Comments


I saw this band a long, long time ago - they were a lot of fun and a very energetic, enthusiastic show. What I don't get is how, not only as musicians but as PEOPLE, you can not change at all from then to now. I mean, sure, I was all like, "capitalism sucks!" when I was in middle school too, because I didn't have any money. But Now I run a Fortune 500 company and drive a H4 money-hybrid, which runs on money. Grow up.

Well said.

8ight8all
April 1st 2008



177 Comments


"I run a Fortune 500 company..."

I don't believe you.

Shattered_Future
April 1st 2008



1539 Comments


I had The Terror State in middle school and enjoyed it. That love has all but worn off now...

NortherlyNanook
April 1st 2008



1285 Comments


It depresses me to see a bad Internet meme in the summary, but whatever.

EDIT: It looks much better now.This Message Edited On 04.01.08

rattlehead42147
April 1st 2008



1345 Comments


an epic fail.

sorry, but imo things like these make you sound like an internet nerd, and kind of immature tbh. Coke used the phrase "death metal win" in his arghoslent review and it produces the same effect.

IsItLuck?
Emeritus
April 1st 2008



4926 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0

sorry I wasn't trying to be immature or anything like that. I was simply stating the truth.
Unfortunately, it's now changed to something else.This Message Edited On 04.01.08

rattlehead42147
April 1st 2008



1345 Comments


i know exactly what you meant lol this band sucks so bad I heard Die for the Gov't and wanted to hang myself. But that was just my opinion, I didn't mean to sound like an ass or anything I just sort of feel like it makes the review sound a little less professional. But don't change it if you really like it because of one person's opinion, I was just sayin'. Especially considering the revew is great.This Message Edited On 04.01.08

IsItLuck?
Emeritus
April 1st 2008



4926 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0

ah I see. But you are right (now that I actually think about it), it does sound a bit unprofessional. I am excited to never listen to this again.



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