LIES THEY TELL OUR CHILDREN
In the 30-plus years they’ve been a band, Pittsburgh punks Anti-Flag have dedicated themselves to exorcising systemic failures. From their early-’90s melodic hardcore days, spent rocking sky-high liberty spikes and appropriating militaristic language, to their 13th full-length and first official concept record, 2023’s LIES THEY TELL OUR CHILDREN, the band has always critiqued the contemporary political landscape—targeting the US government, specifically—and, to borrow a phrase from their euphoric gang chants on “VICTORY OR DEATH,” gave ’em hell in the process. Frankly, conditions have only worsened over the last decade, which is why this LP centers on modern dystopia (a lack of access to health care, climate change, economic disparity, etc.) and the capitalist structures that created it, delivered through relentlessly catchy punk rock. The album is also stacked with collaborations to charm their longtime fans (Jesse Leach of Killswitch Engage on “MODERN META MEDICINE” and Tim McIlrath of Rise Against and Brian Baker of Bad Religion on “THE FIGHT OF OUR LIVES,” to name a few) and introduce them to young new talent (Ashrita Kumar of Pinkshift on “IMPERIALISM” and Stacey Dee of Bad Cop/Bad Cop on “NVREVR”). It is 11 songs in 33 minutes, and endless reasons to throw your fists in the air.