For Blood and Empire
Pittsburgh hardcore stalwart Anti-Flag has been the standard-bearer of the political punk movement since the mid-’90s, and its seventh record finds it near the top of its game. While established punk bands signing to majors in the past few years have met with decidedly mixed results , Anti-Flag has made few concessions to the mainstream, save for bigger production values and a slightly more refined attack. Whether it’s Iraq, the Bush administration or the WTO, the band has no problem finding worthy targets for their socially charged invective. Most important, they still sound great doing it, with songs like “Exodus” packing a ferocious punch.
—Dan Clahane

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