American Fall

Written by: PP on 18/12/2017 21:48:29

If "American Spring" was one part a call for an Arab Spring-style revolution in the US to reform the political system and one part hopeful due to the recovering economy thanks to Obama-era policies, "American Fall" is its polar opposite. From the oval office skull created out of dollar stacks depicted on its artwork to its ambiguous title that could be interpreted as the end of the nation, it's a thematically dark record that dissects the state of United States in a timely, piercing fashion.

"If they come for you in the night... they will come for me in the morning", the chorus to "When The Wall Falls", might be cheery and anthemic ska punk in terms of its melody, but the message is clear: America is changing and certainly not for the better. Later on, "Racists" is arguably the most pointed and well-timed song in punk rock this year, an infectiously catchy and accurate takedown of the alt right political movement:

"No you weren't alive in the time of slavery / But that's no excuse to ignore its legacy / Not afraid of refugees / But don't want a mosque built on your street [...] You fly the flag of the Confederacy / You say to celebrate your history / The South was fighting to save slavery..."

Damn, what an anthem. An instant classic in the truest punk rock spirit in the face of anyone who has been claiming that Anti-Flag has gone commercial on us, even if there is some credit to their claim sound wise. "American Attraction", for instance, is an alternative rock song with effect-laden vocals, a bit of an unusual rock song for Anti-Flag because it's hardly a punk rock track rather than an alternative rock one.

But then again, "American Fall" in general differs from their usual repertoire, in some places radically so. We're talking variation from ska-punk to jazzy and funky organ melodies on "When The Wall Falls" to Rancid style street punk on the insanely catchy "Trouble Follows Me" and the gang vocals of "Liar", which takes us back all the way to "The Terror State" and before.

This approach alone makes "American Fall" one of the best Anti-Flag albums since the aforementioned classic. The band isn't afraid to go for their explosive, festival-sized tracks like "Digital Blackout" while contrasting them against catchy pop punk material with an edge attached to it - just listen to "I Came I Saw I Believed" for a good example. It's this variety and it's well-timed sociopolitical commentary that makes "American Fall" their best album since "The Terror State".


Download: Racists, When The Wall Falls, Trouble Follows Me, The Criminals
For the fans of: The Unseen, Smoke Or Fire, Rise Against, The Shell Corporation
Listen: Facebook

Release date 03.11.2017
Spinefarm Records

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