New Society of Anarchists

Gagged by the Flag

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Packaged in a cartoon cover that looks like a classic Alternative Tentacles release from the midst of the Ronald Reagan era of hardcore, the New Society of Anarchists' Gagged by the Flag is otherwise entirely up-to-the-minute political hardcore circa 2005: the title track concerns civil liberties threats in the wake of the Iraq war, and the rest of singer/bassist Zakk Zarnowski's lyrics are similarly incensed. ("King of the Swine," anyone?) It's almost a concept album, in fact, one that's about ten times more politically charged and authentically punk than Green Day's American Idiot. The four-piece band is similarly full-throttle throughout the album, ripping through these nine brief slices of hardcore fury with the energy of a band half their age. (Although this is only the New Society of Anarchists' second full-length album, they've been around since the early '90s.) Political hardcore hasn't sounded this engaged or angry since the end of the Cold War.

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