Sunday, September 6, 2015

Song Of The Week: 9/6/15

Song: "If Not For You"

Artist: Anti-Flag

Album: "Their System Doesn't Work For You"

Year: 1998

Place Of Origin: Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

Years Active: 1988-present


I have absolutely no idea!!! I can't find the lyrics to "If Not For You" anywhere on the net. I can tell you that is a punk rocker in the same vein as very early Social Distortion. Think Social D's "1945". "If Not For You" is an Anti-Flag song, so I'll take a stab and say it's meaning probably has some sort of anti-government theme or some sort of social or political or anti-political stance to it. I could be wrong but hey, it wouldn't be the first time!!

ANTI-FLAG'S DISCOGRAPHY (Full length albums only):

1996 - "Die For The Government" (New Red Archives)
1998 - "Their System Doesn't Work For You (A-F Records)
1999 - "A New Kind Of Army" (Go-Kart Records)
2001 - "Underground Network" (Fat Wreck Chords)
2002 - "Mobilize" (A-F Records)
2003 - "The Terror State" (Fat Wreck Chords)
2006 - "For Blood And Empire" (RCA Records)
2008 - "The Bright Lights Of America" (RCA Records)
2009 - "The People Or The Gun" (SideOneDummy Records)
2012 - "The General Strike" (SideOneDummy Records)
2015 - "American Spring" (Spinefarm Records)


Anti-Flag formed as a band back in 1988 but quickly dissolved after playing just one show! Thankfully, singer guitarist Justin Sane and drummer Pat Thetic decided to give it one more go and reformed the band in 1992. Establishing itself in the underground punk rock scene, Anti-Flag brought a style of punk that was about revolt and rebellion. Much like a band such as Bad Religion, Anti-Flag was and is not afraid to put their social, political or cultural views on their sleeves. They advocate many progressive political action groups, Greenpeace, Amnesty International and Occupy Together to name a few. Because their name is Anti-Flag, doesn't necessarily mean they are anti-American. Quite the contrary. They are pro 1st Amendment which allows them to speak out against some government policies or against wars or against other issues such as poverty and domestic abuse. Anti-Flag's message began to reach the masses a little more by the time their 2003 album "The Terror State" was released. This album was their highest charting album on the Billboard 200 charts and led to the band signing on with major label RCA Records for the next two releases. You can even go back to 1999 and say the band really began to hit their stride and find their sound when the line-up completely solidified with Justin Sane on vocals/guitar, Chris #2 on bass/vocals, Chris Head on guitar and Pat Thetic on drums. Anti-Flag as a band is very active. Since 1996, the band has not only released 11 full length albums (some of those are comps of old EP's), but they also released a slew of EP's, splits and compilations. Currently, Anti-Flag just released their latest album, "American Spring", in 2015 and they are touring to support that record. There are never too few social, political or governmental issues that a band like Anti-Flag can't expose and shine a light on in hopes of opening people's eyes to injustice. They fall in line with other politically charged and socially aware punk rock bands such as Rise Against, Bad Religion, Good Riddance, Pennywise and Strike Anywhere. Their views are also in line with hard rock/rap outfit Rage Against The Machine, with whom they played live with outside of the 2008 Republican National Convention as a form of protest. Even if you're not so much into politics in your music, you can't deny that behind all of the messages is some pretty kick ass punk rock tunes!!


1. This Is The End (For You My Friend)
2. The Press Corpse
3. Turncoat
4. The Bright Lights Of America
5. 911 For Peace
6. A New Kind Of Army
7. No Paradise
8. Underground Network
9. Brandenburg Gate
10. Die For The Government

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