Anti-Flag are streaming "The New Jim Crow," an exclusive b-side off of Cease Fires, now via For The Love Of Punk. Cease Fires is an album of b-sides and rerecorded material to be released on A-F Records December 18th. Pre-orders for the picture disc LP are available HERE. "The New Jim Crow" is one of two previously unreleased b-sides present on Cease Fires, with "Coward In My Veins" streaming last week via Fuse. A quote from Justin on "The New Jim Crow" is below.
"The song 'The New Jim Crow' was inspired by the book of the same name written by Michelle Alexander which looks at the deep inequality and injustice in the United States as a result of entrenched racism. Written shortly before Ferguson and what is now the endless stream of videos depicting cops killing young black people, the song’s lyrics carry even more meaning than when they were written. The lyrics were penned as a letter of apology to those who have suffered as a result of our society’s inability to overcome racism, bigotry, and hatred. They are also meant to express solidarity to those victims and let them know that they are not alone, that there are others who care about their plight and are willing to support them and fight along side them in their struggle for equality and justice.
Early in Anti-Flag’s career, we became enlightened to injustice in the “legal system,” often and incorrectly referred to as the “justice system”, as a result of the cases of Mumia Abul Jamal and Troy Davis. We joined in the community of voices calling for reform in the legal system of the United States which disproportionately targets and hands out overly harsh and/or inhumane sentences to minorities.
You fight and lose, you fight and you lose, you fight and you lose… Then one day you win one. That is a lesson I have learned after many years of writing and performing songs with a message. Whether its issues of racism, sexism, homophobia, or in this case, the prison industrial complex, artists and activists are almost always ahead of the curve on issues of social justice, pushing society to wake up and catch up. It takes time, but if you hammer at a message long enough, eventually it begins to sink in. Today we hear presidential candidates discussing the need to reform the U.S. legal system and start to feel as if we are on the verge of winning one!" - Justin Sane, Anti-Flag
The material on Cease Fires comes from the 20 Years Of Hell 7" subscription series released in 2013. The 7"s, limited to 500 subscribers, featured re-recorded material from the Anti-Flag catalogue on the a-side, and new material from a A-F Records band on the b-side. Cease Fires is a compilation picture disc LP of all of the Anti-Flag tracks, including the two unreleased b-sides "Coward In My Veins" and "The New Jim Crow." This is the first time this material is available to fans outside the subscription series, and the first time any of this material has been available digitally.
Everyone who pre-orders the Cease Fires picture disc will be entered into an exclusive contest. One winner will receive the ESP guitar used in the making of the Brandenburg Gate music video, signed by the band. Five winners will receive the last remaining 7"s from the 20 Years Of Hell series. Each winner will receive all six 7"s.
Cease Fires is available for pre-order now via A-F Records. The vinyl and digital LP will be released December 18th, 2015.
Cease Fires tracklist:
1. Coward In My Veins
2. The New Jim Crow
3. Kill The Rich
4. Twenty Years Of Hell
5. Bring Out Your Dead
6. The Consumer's Song
7. Mumia's Song
8. Wake Up
9. The WTO Kills Farmers
10. No Future
11. The Ink And The Quill (Be Afraid)
12. The Great Depression
13. The Ghosts Of Alexandria
14. Close My Eyes
Great rock n' roll doesn't have to be mindless and socially conscious tunes don't have to be dull. When art and entertainment devolve into mere commercial escapism, the status quo of an oppressive system and the empty banality of mediocre music will prevail.
ANTI-FLAG burst through the concrete wall of apathy like a proverbial desert flower. Their most recent album American Spring is an empowering, energetic antidote to the crippling cynicism that infects even the most dedicated of rabble-rousers. Co-produced by AWOLNATION’s Kenny Carkeet, Jim Kaufman and the band, Anti-Flag’s tenth studio album is both a shot across the bow of the political discourse and creatively challenging.
American Spring is a stylistic leap forward that captures the essence of their dense catalog while conjuring a fresh new sound. Anti-Flag's commitment to high caliber neo-punk music remains as strong as their devotion to raising awareness.
Drawing inspiration equally from political thinkers like Howard Zinn and Cornel West as from The Clash and The Dead Kennedys, Anti-Flag got going in earnest in 1993, a year before massive records by Green Day, The Offspring and Rancid pushed punk back into the spotlight. Anti-Flag hail from Pittsburgh, site of the Homestead Steel Strike in 1892 (one of the most serious labor disputes in history), Hill District riots in the wake of Martin Luther King’s assassination, in a state that helped birth abolitionism.
Anti-Flag’s lyrics are as socio-politically minded as ever, but through the lens of deeply personal experience. Drummer/cofounder Pat Thetic’s uniquely identifiable rhythms and the dual vocals of Sane and bassist/vocalist Chris #2 ensure each song retains the sound Anti-Flag has established, even as Sane and longtime guitarist Chris Head unleash their heaviest riffs.
Thankfully there remain those whose resilience is assured, who fight harder against adversity and difficult odds.They are the proud torchbearers for progressive collectivism, radical change, and a free expression with heavy social responsibility. They are the artists with the talent to create works worthy of their message. Bessie Smith, Woody Guthrie, MC5, Bad Religion, Boogie Down Productions, The Clash – and after more than two decades, Anti-Flag carries the tradition forward, injecting the underground and the mainstream with politically charged, deliberate, smart-but-no-less-visceral neo-punk.