I was a huge fan of Punk back in the late 70’s and there is a lot of detail about what I considered to be the Punk Big 4, The Stranglers, the Clash, The Jam and The Sex Pistols, in The Story of Rock and Roll. Once Punk fizzled away and New Wave became the big thing I sort of lost interest. There were still bands like GBH and Anti Nowhere League around but they weren’t, in my view, at the level that the original pioneers were.
There was a major resurgence ushered in by Green Day in about 1994 and leading to the success of bands like Blink 182 through the 90’s. These bands were great and had cool energy but for me the whole ethos of Punk was about being very unhappy about the current situation and using angry music to get the message across. The new ‘US Punk’ bands to me were more like boozy students.
Then I discovered Anti-Flag and order was restored in the punk universe. This is the real deal. These guys are moaning about war, inequality, the system, the banks, the environment everything that actually needs a bit of attention and they do it very well. It’s these sort of lyrics that do it ”Do you want to live your life a slave?, in chains from the cradle to the grave, the economy is suffering, let it die” or the best bit in the outro at [2.46] where it all slows down and then picks up again with the classic ”when the cities burn down we’ll all be warm” refrain. Proper punk.