For Family And Flag Volume 1

Various Artists

Pirates Press Records, 2020

REVIEW BY: Tom Haugen

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED: 01/08/2021

After much demand following the 3xLP One Family One Flag, the Pirates Press label knew another compilation was in order, and, if it were possible, it would have to match or better the impact of the original release.

Thankfully, with their impressive roster of artists, this was fully able to be realized, as punk rock legends like Subhumans and brand new outfits like Seized Up share space on this diverse collection of both released and unreleased songs. my_heart_sings_the_harmony_web_ad_alt_250

Interestingly enough, the album starts with loud piano and horns on the retro sounds of Shuffle And Bang's “Let The Good Times Roll,” which I believe is the first time jazz has been heard on a Pirates Press record.

From here, it's back to business as usual, with the thumping, buzzing energy of Cock Sparrer's “Marching Onwards” as well as gritty ska-punk from The Slackers. Other highlights from Side A include the melodic guitar work and anthemic blue collar sounds of The Barstool Preacher's “When This World Ends,” while Charger's “Watch Your Back” is a thick and gruff display of raw and bristling old school punk.

Side B leads with the highly tuneful and pop-punk friendly “Working Poor” by Bishops Green, and Seized Up follow with the abrasive hardcore sounds of “Taking Back The Neighborhood.”

Deeper still, Subhumans prove that they're still at the top of their game four decades in with the acutely intense “Thought Is Free,” which is complemented by the bouncy and playful energy of 45 Adapters' “Now Or Never.” The record ends on Lenny Lashley's Gang Of One's “Need,” where a bare, warm landscape unfolds with Lashley's expressive pipes front and center.

The tracks here span punk, Oi!, ska, reggae, and rock ‘n’ roll. If you're familiar with the Pirates Press label, you'll surely agree they're known for both quality and quantity, and this record is certainly no exception.

Rating: A-

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