ANTI-FLAG: Mobilize: CD

Politically conscious, melodic hardcore is a hard thing to pull off. It’s tough because it begs the question: how can you take an angry cry for revolution and turn it into a catchy song? Several bands have tried it. Very few have done it well. You can almost count the good ones on one hand: Good Riddance, Strike Anywhere, Kid Dynamite, Propaghandhi, and, of course, Anti-Flag. Anti-Flag has been pulling this sound off for years, now, and their last album, Underground Network, is probably their best so far. So when I saw that they were releasing Mobilize – which has eight new songs and eight live versions of previously released songs – so soon after having released Underground Network, I wondered if they’d put the time and thought into this that they’d put into their previous albums. Listening to the first eight songs, though, convinced me that this wasn’t a throwaway album. Mobilize doesn’t seem to be a collection of songs that were left off of they’re last album because they weren’t good enough to go on it. It seems like Anti-Flag has just been paying attention to a lot of the fucked up things that have been going on lately, so they wrote some powerful songs to discuss these fucked up things. And, again, it works. The revolution is still fun to sing along with. Long live Anti-Flag. As a special bonus, too, this CD comes with an A-F Records sampler. You get a taste of some of the more popular bands on that label, like Pipedown and The Unseen, but the sampler also has a lot of stuff from their lesser known bands. Among my favorites were the two songs by Thought Riot and the two songs by Whatever It Takes. The big surprise, though, was the Voids song at the end of the sampler. All of the bands that come before the Voids have releases on A-F Records. The Voids, though, aren’t on any label. As far as I know, they only have one seven inch out. But the last time I saw them play, they had enough original material for a full-length. Could this mean that the Voids are gonna release a full-length with A-F? If the Voids are gonna release a full-length, can I start getting excited about it now?

 –sean (A-F)