TITLE: 20/20 VISION
LABEL: SPINEFARM RECORDS
WORDS: JO COSGROVE
Within the music industry, especially among punk and rock acts, there are almost no topics left untouched. With a band like Anti-Flag, they have a specific focus on politics. The good and the bad; the lawful and the evil; they never shy away from speaking their minds. ‘20/20 Vision‘ is the band’s 12th album, and they are still bringing their on-brand level of heavy activism and punk advocacy to the masses through catchy tunes and striking riffs. As the years go by, they bring more fans in and open their eyes to the unsettling injustice that surrounds them everyday – and this is their take on the more recent political climate of the United States to wake up the young and old citizens and make them realise what’s happening. It’s time to gain… ‘20/20 Vision‘.
The title track itself is a song about old dreams of a brighter future, which turned into a bleak present. The title is a play on this year, 2020, while also being based on the phrase of having “20/20 vision”: perfect sight and clarity. It’s one of the catchier tracks, which Anti-Flag have always used to convey their message and get it into the heads of hundreds and thousands around the world. Sticking the theme of world peace in the mind will encourage change, and hopefully the world can gain “20/20 vision”.
“still bringing their on-brand level of heavy activism and punk advocacy to the masses through catchy tunes and striking riffs”
The hardest hitting song on the record is ‘Un-American’, which takes examples of people living in modern-day America and flips the idea of “the American Dream” on its head. Reminding the public that sexism and prejudice is still found within the workplace, it highlights how society in the US is the exact opposite of what “American” values should be and that these practices are what’s indeed turning America “Un-American”. Being a more acoustic-based track, it makes a difference to the loud and attention-grabbing tunes surrounding it and this causes the worlds to hit harder and stay in the mind longer.
‘Christian Nationalist’ is most likely going to be a fan’s favourite single from the listing. Focusing on the rise of fascism within the US and the growing normalisation of white supremacy and Nazism, it’s three minutes of heavy callouts and refusals to back down and cower in fear.
“after decades of fighting and screaming for their rights, they’re not quieting down or halting”
“We all know who you are,” are the words that the band are excited to hear being thrown back at them. This is a chant that grants the crowd power and strength; whether it’s during a live performance, or in the faces of the oppressors during protests.
Being angry and tough has always been Anti-Flag’s style in their political-punk fusion of music, and after decades of fighting and screaming for their rights, they’re not quieting down or halting. With ’20/20 Vision’, it’s obvious that the hopes are still high and the war is yet to be over. Anti-Flag will be there until the very end – who’s joining them there?