You could call me a fan of Pittsburgh. Night of The Living Dead was shot there, my fiancé is from there, they put out great food and music – like Anti-Flag. But why bring up the awesome city of Pittsburgh and Anti-Flag you ask? The connection lies with the band’s Chris #2, who produced the new album Where Do You Stand? from Pittsburgh natives A Lovely Crisis. Like so many bands from the ‘burgh before them, A Lovely Crisis has put together is one hell of a fresh and fast ride.
The overall tone of the entire album is essentially “Fuck Government” – it’s quite literally repeated throughout the song “I Am The One Who Got Away.” The majority of the album is a reflection on class injustice and government abuse. The band uses real-life examples in their lyrics. Kids are going to school just to be trapped into a life of working while the government bleeds them dry in “When All Else Fails.” Employers are working their employees too hard and caring more of profit than their health in “People Or The Profit.” Other tracks like “It’s a Bird, It’s a Plane, No… It’s My Fist” tackle the frustration of police brutality and feelings of entrapment and oppression.
For the most part the album keeps it pretty straight forward with vocals and instrumentation; but this never becomes monotonous with the few songs the band has sprinkled throughout to switch it up. At it’s roots of course this is a punk album, but it tackles the whole spectrum of punk rock, as well as other genres along the way.
“Fire In The Sky” has this odd, mellow, sunshine and puppy dogs instrumental as the song starts with these bright guitar notes (it feels like one of those songs that would be ironically used in a movie scene where really messed up shit is happening, which actually plays like that lyrically into the song). Then you have songs like “Golden Minivan,” which is really the only “fun” song on the album. Even with the shit storm that’s happening in this world, the lyrics focus on the enjoyment of being in a band, and at first opens up with a folk punk chill, kicking right into this very pop punk vibe with pieces of xylophone popping up throughout the track. Title tack Where Do You Stand? comes right off as strong old school rock n roll punk, traditional in verse then hook then verse power flow (which is common to find in the album). Then with tracks like the pre-mentioned People Or The Profit, which a bluesy rockabilly twang, these songs help put some welcoming spins that make each track more diverse.
My personal favorite gem on this album is “I Am The One Who Got Away.” Opening up with somber guitar work and sampling of an Obama speech, the song just after a few seconds comes in power punk rock ready with speed and pissed off vocals. Certainly the band’s heaviest song on the album, this is easily one of the top three songs that will stand out the most to listeners. Guitar solos, thrashing drum beats, the sampling and somber instrumentals popping in from time to time, just to return to the thrashing… It is unforgettable in sounds and lyricism.
I strongly recommended you grab a copy of this record. I have a lot of hopes for these guys, cause there’s nothing like watching a group of awesome folks getting together to play music, and drive home messages to help shape a better world we live in. A Lovely Crisis is that wonderful fusion of political music, and more specifically political punk, that makes the listener want to throw a fist up, thrash in a pit, and listen to what’s going on around them.
Where Do You Stand? was produced and recorded by Anti-Flag’s Chris #2 and releases June 3, 2016 on CD and digital platforms. You can pre-order the album using the link below.