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Wednesday, 28 September 2011

Anti-Flag - Complete Control Sessions

The love affair that Anti-Flag have with the Clash is well documented, and the influence that the band had on them is worn rather defiantly on their sleeves for all to see.
So it's no surprise to see the complete control session making an appearance.
It's a handful of live recordings from the Ramones museum and a single studio version of 'Should I stay or should I go' neatly rubbing shoulders with a few Anti-Flag originals, and as homages go it's pretty much faultless as the band power through Should I Stay, Guns of Brixton and White Riot live with all the anger and the fire that you would associate with the attitude displayed by The Clash themselves.
In particular this incarnation of Guns of Brixton is a bruising swagger of an interpretation that neatly segues into I fought the law with all the power of a slap in the face.
The three self penned tracks that are included provide a pretty good indication of where Anti-Flag are coming from.
Anti establishment, anti capitalist and intelligent enough to articulate their anger.
A rarer mix in the world of punk rock than some would care to admit.
There's always been plenty of anti this or that, but few have been able to channel that with any sort of intelligence and passion.
The notable exceptions are of course Anti-Flag, Bad Religion and the Dead Kennedys to name but three.
The addition of the studio version of Should I stay may initially be seen as a bit pointless, but it's a very different beast from the live one that's included.
So I'm not complaining.
It's nice to hear some fire.

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