Anti-Flag / The Bouncing Souls

Bouncing Souls/Anti-Flag

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The fourth volume in BYO's split series includes the fun New Jersey band Bouncing Souls, who write anthemic, singalong-type songs, and the radical leftist band Anti-Flag, performing a few of each other's tunes, some originals, and several covers. Bouncing Souls are best appreciated live. Their albums tend to all sound similar, though this would be a better-than-average collection from them, especially their covers of Cock Sparrer's "We're Coming Back" and Sticks and Stones' "Less Than Free." Bouncing Souls rock out pretty hard on these numbers and are definitely improving as a band. On the other hand, Anti-Flag is a political band with very little to say. Check out the lyrics to "America Got It Right." Is this supposed to be social commentary? How can you preach about politics when you have such serious issues with simplistic English grammar on your lyric sheet? Anti-Flag spews forth a kiddie version of political punk and can probably only be appreciated by the under-18 set. Still, they are learning to play their instruments better and deliver a not-completely awful take on the Buzzcocks' "Ever Fallen in Love With Someone (You Shouldn't've Fallen in Love With)." Volume three in this split-series, with Rancid and NOFX, is a much more worthwhile effort.

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