Against Me! just doesn’t give a s*#!

Against Me! took alot of flak when they released their major label debut New Wave in 2007.  The album was a noticeable departure from the rough DIY recording style of their earlier work, yet held on to the political and social musings of previous outings.  While Spin magazine called it “Album of the Year”,  frontman Tom Gabel took exception to the so-called “fans” who lashed out in anger at the band’s growth and change of direction: 

“I find it completely frustrating and off-putting and it turns me off of the punk scene really because people are very closed minded.”

Gabel isn’t standing down from his comments on the band’s new disc White Crosses.   The lead single “I was a Teenage Anarchist” laments on the falls of the anarchy scene and the misshapen politics and revoultions it embraces.  It’s fitting, however, that by taking a staunch very un-mainstream stance in the eyes of his old-school followers, Gabel closly follows the same ideals that the group he is trying to distance himself from holds.

Immediately following “Teenage Anarchist”, the Springsteen-esque “Because of the Shame” is another stand-out track on the album.  The lyrics are honest and the emotion runs high as Gabel rasps and growls about a painful meeting at a friend’s funeral.  The friend in reference, interestingly enough, is the same subject of Againt Me!’s previous single “Thrash Unreal”  The shame in question, turns out to be that very song. 

 “Suffucation” evokes memories of Against Me!’s earlier work, it’s ready for crowd shout-backs and urges fists in the air.  “Ache with Me” proves Against Me! cannot be pigeonholed.  At the end of the day, it’s all the band wants to prove.  They’ve shown they can write folk-punk songs as good as the next guy.  They’ve proven their punk-rock stylings.  It’s time to move on to the next project.  White Crosses isn’t quite there, but it’s pretty damn close.



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