Posted by: will | December 13, 2007

Music Review – Against Me!

Against Me! “New Wave” (Sire)


Is there a more polarizing band in the “punk” community right now than Against Me!? To determine why that is you have to explore where the band came from. Self-described anarchist punks playing punk/folk rock, Against Me! began their ascent within the punk scene with 2002’s powerful Reinventing Axl Rose. The band quickly moved up to Fat Wreck Chords for two records before their controversial signing to Sire last year.

New Wave points the band in an entirely different direction for the band and that starts in the producer’s chair with Butch Vig. The decision to go with such a big-time producer was a surprise to say the least. Unfortunately, Vig seemingly glosses over Against Me’s character. Where has the rawness gone? Where is the passion that jumped from the speakers on the band’s earlier records?

For what it is, New Wave is certainly not a bad album. There are some strong ideas here and lead man Tom Gabel’s songwriting and lyrical ruminations are still somewhat compelling. The appearance of Tegan Quin (of Tegan And Sara) certainly brings a smile to my face. Still, nothing here is able to rival the band’s past. Too often, Against Me! seems lost and searching for a true identity. New Wave comes across as nothing more than a watered down version of what this band once sounded like and once believed in. Torn between the underground and the mainstream, Against Me! are now a rock band with no semblance of where they came from or where they want to go.

Genre: Punk/Folk/Rock

RIYL: The Clash, Billy Bragg, The Pogues

White People For Peace (mp3)

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  1. Completely agree with this review. I’m such a fan of their whole discography. This was one of the biggest disappointments of the year for me. I don’t doubt the live versions of these songs are great, because, well, their live show kicks ass. But this glossy rock is not the Against Me! I know.

  2. “you don’t know shit”
    this album is F’N AWESOME!

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