Ann Beretta


Written by: PP on 02/03/2022 08:38:23

"There’s a fire in my heart, in this song, in this beat - can you feel it?", asks Ann Beretta on "Dying To Feel Alive" after a nearly twenty-year absence since "Three Chord Revolution" rocked our stereos with its rockabilly and country laced punk rock anthems. "Rise", their fifth album overall, is a triumphant comeback album that feels every bit as relevant and edgy as their material did during their active years from 1996 to 2003. Back then, they released four critically acclaimed punk rock albums, all of which enjoy a cult status despite not necessarily enjoying a similar kind of mainstream punk stardom as most other punk bands from the golden era of melodic punk.

Listening to "Rise" today, it becomes unequivocally clear that Ann Beretta forms the foundational influence behind bands like Stike Anywhere and Anti-Flag, albeit in a slightly more restrained and calmer format. The anthemic gung-ho chants on songs like "Gimme Some Action" or "Molotov Breakdown" are the basic ingredients in any Anti-Flag songbook since 2003's "The Terror State" where they morphed towards a more melodic and fists in the air style of a political sermon from their hardcore laced origins on "Mobilize" and before.

Much of that can no doubt be attributed to Ann Beretta's sound that today manifests in a near-perfect form on tracks like "The Sound Of Revolution". Here, Ann Beretta sings together in rebellious yet easily sing-alongable fashion: "There’s a march on the street, another protest song / And we know all the words so we sing along / There’s a riot in my heart and I wear it on my sleeve", underscoring the theme of "Rise" throughout. It's a protest album about the state of the world anno 2022, delivering its fiercely sociopolitical message in an infectiously catchy, anthemic format.

"The Real America", which features fellow Richmondian Thomas Barnett (Strike Anywhere), draws another direct line of influence to his band's records like "Change Is A Sound" or "Iron Front". It's an explosive song that tackles the Trumpian claim of the real america in simplistic, yet darn effective manner through upbeat tempo and a chant-along chorus.

Elsewhere, the band's country influence shines through the easygoing riffs of "Wild, Young, And Free", which embodies the classic Great American Song from the Springsteen, et al playbooks, only in a punk rock format. Common to this and the aforementioned styles are a constant melodic ring that, especially on "Better Medicine" (feat Chris DeMakes of Less Than Jake), almost sounds like The Hold Steady playing punk rock songs. It feels casual, yet on point throughout, thanks to brilliant lyrics that leave it absolutely clear where Ann Beretta's political views stand.

With eleven tracks of bangers, Ann Beretta demonstrates here why their output from more than two decades ago enjoys cult classic status within the punk scene. Without missing a beat, "Rise" reminds us that great political punk rock need not be angry-sounding or pissed off - but can also come in the form of The Great American Song.

Download: Dying To Feel Alive, The Sound Of Revolution, The Real America
For the fans of: Anti-Flag, Strike Anywhere, Smoke Or Fire, Avail
Listen: Facebook

Release date 17.02.2022

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