A 2004 mini-album of cover songs inspired by the United States’ current political climate.
1. Clampdown (The Clash)
2. (We Don't Need This) Fascist Groove Thang (Heaven 17)
3. Let's Have a War (Fear)
4. The New World (X)
5. Divide and Conquer (Husker Du)
6. Complicated Game (XTC)
“We decided to record this batch of political songs because we're pissed off and we don't feel like keeping it to ourselves,” explains guitarist/vocalist Rick Valentin. “One politician, one musician or one citizen isn't going to change the world but if enough of us speak out and more importantly VOTE we can make things better. That's not crazy idealistic hippie talk, that's democracy and democracy is punk rock! This CD is just one more snowflake on the snowball aimed at toppling over an administration leading our country down the primrose path.”
In early 2004 Poster Children released their ninth album, No More Songs About Sleep and Fire, which contained two songs, “Flag” and “The Leader,” aimed at the current administration. With “On the Offensive” this Champaign-Urbana quartet takes it a step further.
“We had considered many classic protest songs from the 60's but none of them seemed to ring true, too much talk about revolution and war in the streets. And while there has been a political revolution in this country since the 1960's, unfortunately it was one headed by the fundamentalist right wing. We wound up selecting songs exclusively from the dawn of that revolution, the early 1980's; songs of warning and dissent that hold up surprisingly well over 20 years later.”
Are Poster Children setting themselves up for criticism from those who maintain entertainment should be separate from the current debate? Valentin rebuts that sentiment.
“I'm tired of hearing the line ‘politics and music don't mix.’ You don't hear anyone say ‘politics and plumbing don't mix’ when members of the local pipefitters union have something to say about our elected officials. This attitude is just another symptom of the sterilization of music into a clean, generic lifestyle product, one that doesn't challenge the listener in any way emotionally or intellectually. I have nothing against vacant pop music but it's not healthy to live on white bread alone, sometimes you need to get some whole grains into your system to flush it out.”