Reviews Anti-Flag The People or The Gun

Anti-Flag

The People or The Gun

It takes a lot for me to completely lose faith in some of my favorite bands, and I came pretty close to completely giving up on Anti-Flag after the disaster that was The Bright Lights of America. My faith was then restored a bit after hearing that they left RCA Records and joined the ever growing roster at Side One Dummy Records and that they were planning to leave behind all of the awkward experimentation that dragged down their last album so badly. This may seem like a cop out to some, but if it means that Anti-Flag are returning to their usual aggressive brand of political punk rock, then it's a good thing seeing how that's what they do best.

Even with Bush gone from the White House, Anti-Flag still have a lot to say about all of the problems that plague the world and in some instances, they sound more pissed off than ever. The opening track, "Sodom, Gomorrah, Washington D.C." is directed at those who use religion to gain control of the masses and is better than every single track on their last album. This shows the band picking up where they left off on For Blood and Empire with the fast, angry punk rock songs with assistance from the bigger budget production. "The Economy is Suffering...Let it Die" addresses the 2008 bailout and the current state of the economy.


Stabbed repeatedly in the back by the Wall Street suit, the Washington hack, lining up their pockets with the people's cash and laughing all the way to the bank.

This is also one of the most enjoyable tracks on the album thanks to it's slick guitar melody and the gang vocals in the chorus which are sure to be a hit live. "The Gre(A)t Depression" is an anthem that sounds like something the band was trying to do on The Bright Lights of America, the guest vocals from Tim McIllrath, Greg Attonito and others also make this song very memorable.

The one-minute long "You are Fired (Take This Job...Ah, Fuck It)" is a tirade against major record labels and is probably the angriest song the band has ever recorded with Chris #2 sounding incredibly pissed off throughout the entire track. Then comes a complete change of pace with the cheesy, "This is the First Night." The track isn't anything terrible until the drastic tempo change towards the end, which completely kills it. "When All the Lights Go Out's" call-out lines of "Attack/attack! Stabbed in the back! Disgraced/disgraced! Traitors trade face to face!" give it some staying power, despite the song being very predictable. The People or The Gun's final track, "The Old Guard" makes up for some of the filler tracks as it carries a nice "farewell" type of vibe that really sends this record home leaving the listener feeling good. There's also the joke hidden track which is very humorous and enjoyable.

The one thing that really bothers me about The People or The Gun is that it feels like it was extremely rushed. Yes, I can understand Anti-Flag wanting to make up for their last record but it's barely been a year since it's release date and with this album being only ten tracks long and thirty minutes, things are over before they even start. Maybe releasing this as an EP and cutting some of the filler tracks ("On Independence Day," "This is the First Night") would have worked better? Compared to The Bright Lights of America, The People of the Gun looks amazing but as a stand alone record, it isn't anything noteworthy. At least Anti-Flag are going back in the right direction.

6.5 / 10Corey S.
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6.5 / 10

6.5 / 10

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