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Bright Lights of America

Anti-Flag’s second album for Sony, “Bright Lights of America” turns out to be the better of the two. Anti-Flag, one of today’s only ‘real’ punk bands going hits their stride with several different odds and ends added to their sound (choir choruses, cello, even some horn usage among other things.) Other than the unorthodox instruments the big difference between this album and the bands major debut is the band’s guitar/bass work. The last album and actually most of this album is basic punk guitar ala The Sex Pistols, but this go around they used some different chords at the beginning of songs as well as some unique bass lines throughout that make this album better than the first. The main thing to note with “Bright Lights of America” is that production and messages aside, this is basic punk rock for the majority of the album, and when the band show some variety- like on the title track or on “No Warning” or on “Smartest Bomb”- the album is a million times better. That being said, all of the other songs on the album are standard punk songs with strong messages and are great for what they are. And on the unorthodox production elements… even though there are some (key word SOME) different elements used throughout the album they’re still incorporated fairly routinely which turns the unorthodox into something pretty common. So while they’re special, they’re not that special. Still, you have to throw out respect to what Anti-Flag does because they do it with an incredible amount of drive and passion. If you’re into punk- old punk when it actually meant something- Anti-Flag isn’t something you should be missing out on.


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