For two decades now, punk activists Anti-Flag have rallied against the powers that be with nothing more than a handful of power chords, the awareness to see that the world is pretty messed up, and the good sense to be outraged by it. And while their music is all about looking forward and fighting for change, the Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania band takes an opportunity to look back at its work on A Document of Dissent: 1993-2013. Over the course of 26 tracks (and a two-hour running time), the collection touches on all nine of the band's studio albums. While this serves as a fantastic sampler of Anti-Flag's work for new fans to explore, the highlight of the best-of set is the liner notes. Providing a whole new layer of insight, A Document of Dissent's booklet features notes from the band on every song in the collection, as well as historical quotes that inspired their creative process. Of particular interest is the "chain of events," a time line that correlates political events with the release of their albums (as well as showing what songs are tied to what events). By providing context for their battle hymns, Anti-Flag are able to recapture some of the timeliness that can be lost to the ravages of time. This puts every song in a particular time and place, allowing listeners to not only relive the songs, but also spark their memories about why everyone was so upset in the first place.
AllMusic Review by Gregory Heaney