Anti-Flag

Their System Doesn't Work for You

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2000's Their System Doesn't Work for You resurrects the nine tracks from 1998's limited-edition EP, North America Sucks, and adds ten previously-unreleased, later-vintage tracks for good measure. The songs from the EP are prime Anti-Flag, political punk that never loses its sense of humor even when making its most important points. "Indie Sux, Hardline Sux, Emo Sux, You Suck!" decries the Balkanization of the D.I.Y. scene in the '90s to the album's catchiest chorus, while the title track and "Anti-Violent" take aim at the usual suspects. Unfortunately, with only a couple of exceptions, the later tracks sound like half-baked filler; indeed, the beyond-lo-fi sound suggests that they might be rough demos not originally intended to be heard outside the band, a supposition backed up by the lazy, sluggish performances, and meandering song structures. There are a few promising tracks among the dross, particularly "Betty Sue Is Dead," which makes incredibly effective use of an old-school punk-reggae middle section in the style of the Ruts, but overall, the second half of Their System Doesn't Work for You doesn't work for anybody.

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