The General Strike

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The General Strike Review

by Gregory Heaney

Perennial rabble-rousers Anti-Flag come back to throw sand in the face of the establishment on their ninth studio album, The General Strike. Combining blunt, no-nonsense political ideals with driving punk rock into an anti-establishment steamroller, the album finds Anti-Flag once again sticking with the direct approach as they comment on the Occupy Wall Street movement and the ever widening gap in America's class system. While lyrics like "They're sleeping between satin sheets while huddled masses sleep in the streets/Tucked in at night they lay and dream of Corporate State Theocracy," from "Nothing Recedes Like Progress," don't allow much in the way of misinterpretation, they do root a lot of the songs in a very specific time and place. This kind of timeliness gives The General Strike the feeling that, though inspiring in its day, it doesn't have that special something that makes a song like the Clash's "Know Your Rights" an enduring anthem for the oppressed and disenfranchised. Despite this, it's still worth pointing out that at least Anti-Flag are standing up to say something at all, and every movement needs its fight songs to keep people going in the face of adversity. For all the people camping out in the cold, The General Strike definitely has enough fire to keep you warm.

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