Anti-Flag
The People Or The Gun


2.5
average

Review

by SowingSeason STAFF
April 9th, 2010 | 16 replies | 8,252 views


Release Date: 2009 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Another politically charged punk album with nothing to distinguish it from similar works.

What do you get when you cross snot-nosed rebellion with an unfounded sense of political standing? The answer is usually a teenage punk rock band, although there is your occasional group that never seems to grow up. Anti-Flag fits into the latter category, with fairly basic riffs and rehashed political themes all the while retaining that ***-you attitude that is oh so important to the genre. Anti-Flag have always fought against “the system”, taking every opportunity to protest the government or whatever president happens to be in office. The problem is, they kind of sold out over the course of their last two albums, as For Blood and Empire and The Bright Lights of America saw the band sign to a major label while their music became all too accessible and radio friendly. While they weren’t terrible, there is something oddly irritating about hearing strings and a children’s choir on any Anti-Flag album. With The People Or The Gun, it was clear that the band sought to rectify that issue and reclaim what once made them respected by some listeners.

The band’s effort to reassert their identity gets off to a very strong start with the opener, “Sodom, Gomorrah, Washington D.C. (Sheep in Shepherd’s Clothing).” The pace is furious, and so are the screeching (but very determined sounding) vocals. In fact, the pinnacle of the song just might be at the very end, when Chris #2 yells, Religion…is the opiate…of the weak!. The album proceeds with “The Economy is Suffering…Let it Die” and “The Gre(a)t Depression”, both of which keep the album afloat on what is actually a very impressive start. Anti-Flag succeeds to this point on the album because they stick to their bread and butter: catchy bass, frantic guitar riffs, and angry/senseless drumming. Unfortunately, they don’t keep it up for long.

“We Are the One” gets old after the first chorus and the obnoxious sounding whoa oh!’s in the bridge don’t help anything (do they ever)? Tracks like “This Is the First Night”, “On Independence Day”, and “The Old Guard” all fall back into the poppy-sounding Bright Lights of America trap that Anti-Flag sought to avoid altogether on The People Or The Gun. Filled with more whoa oh oh’s and slow boring chords, the latter half of the album falls flat on its face. It is really a shame, because the first several songs on the album showed promise that Anti-Flag could still release a consistent and thoroughly enjoyable punk album. Instead, The People Or The Gun becomes a mess of different styles that should have been b-sides on either of their last two releases. With that said, there are still some diamonds in the rough. The two 1-minute tracks, “You are Fired” and “Untitled”, actually inject a lot of energy and youth into the album when it needs it the most. Also, “No War Without Warriors” is an even angrier, more chaotic version of the opening track. In a way, hearing this song can be frustrating, because had Anti-Flag kept up that intensity for the entire album, I would be sitting here reviewing their best album instead of just another average one.

When all is said and done, The People Or The Gun is a tease. It shows a glimmer of hope in the fast, frantic punk-rock that earned Anti-Flag fame to begin with. However, it simply drops the ball for the majority of the latter half, showing little interest in recapturing the energetic tone set in the beginning. Unfortunately, that makes this just another politically charged punk album with nothing to distinguish it from similar works. Anti-Flag may have started to redeem their name, but The People Or The Gun is, for all intents and purposes, average.



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user ratings (121)
Chart.
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other reviews of this album
Adam_Harrison9 (4)
Anti-flag going back to their roots, yet making something seemingly more original than previous albu...


Comments:Add a Comment 
SowingSeason
Staff Reviewer
April 9th 2010


15957 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

shorter than my typical review but there wasn't much to talk about here

Digging: Maybeshewill - Fair Youth

Lakes.
April 9th 2010


27638 Comments


Another troll neg? wtf?

and btw, i thought the review was a good length. dont know of this band but im not too keen on listening to them right now

Digging: Arthur Russell - World of Echo

SowingSeason
Staff Reviewer
April 9th 2010


15957 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

yeah the troll negging hasnt stopped but w/e, im gonna keep writing reviews even if my approval rating eventually drops to 50%.

anti-flag isn't really my cup of tea either, although i can get in the mood for them from time to time. oh, and thanks to whoever added the album art...it always seems im reviewing stuff that doesn't have it on already

SowingSeason
Staff Reviewer
April 9th 2010


15957 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

^ touche

zarkinfrood42
April 9th 2010


154 Comments


1 of 3 thought this review was well written


^The fuck? It's not a masterpiece or anything, but it's a good review and you get your point across, and I think it was actually a good length.

Have a pos.

Ire
April 9th 2010


41761 Comments


Review is good.

tiesthatbind
April 9th 2010


7374 Comments


Your negs are showing. Have a pos.

Digging: xSPONGEXCOREx - How Tough Are Yah?

SowingSeason
Staff Reviewer
April 9th 2010


15957 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

thanks to all those who defended my review. i mean it's not my best work by a long shot, but i didn't think it was terrible either. otherwise i wouldn't have even posted it.

Lakes.
April 9th 2010


27638 Comments


It appears to have upped your approval rating by another 2% bro.

SowingSeason
Staff Reviewer
April 9th 2010


15957 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

haha im not really concerned with my approval rating...im just curious: with whom did i make enemies with on this site?

tiesthatbind
April 9th 2010


7374 Comments


Maybe somebody hates Brand New, and was overcome with rage at your username.

SowingSeason
Staff Reviewer
April 9th 2010


15957 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

seems plausible. my avatar is pretty irritating too.

zarkinfrood42
April 10th 2010


154 Comments


Maybe somebody hates Brand New, and was overcome with rage at your username.


On sputnik? You're just as likely to find an Aiden fan here.

SowingSeason
Staff Reviewer
April 10th 2010


15957 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

^thats true actually. but im sure they (aiden fans) exist...somewhere out there...

Phantom
April 10th 2010


8930 Comments


anti-flag: still fighting 'the man' in 2009

tiesthatbind
April 10th 2010


7374 Comments


It doesn't have to be a regular poster, it's probably a lurker.



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