Album Review: Against Me – “White Crosses”

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With their second full-length for Sire hot off the printing press and every impatient fan already singing along to every song (thanks to a well-known leak) the music world will soon be blessed with another Against Me! album – White Crosses. A band commonly popularized for their outspoken lyrics and views delivers to us what we have always expected from them: Angst, talent, passion and more angst.

Although some of the anarchist fans they have attracted over the years may still be upset with their move to a major label, it goes without saying that not only did this move help them to spread their music more rapidly to a larger audience, it also put them at the top of their game musically and financially. For that my friends, I am thankful.

I’ll be the first to admit that although I enjoyed the odd track from “Re-Inventing Axl Rose” it certainly (in my eyes) wasn’t the masterpiece it was toted as being. As the years progressed, I found myself only enjoying the so-called, ‘hit songs’ by these guys and I had always wished that they would release an album that I couldn’t get enough of in its’ entirety. Luckily that feat has been accomplished with, “White Crosses”. I found it being listened to in high rotation on a daily basis and when I wasn’t listening to it, I was humming it or playing it over and over in my head. From start-to-finish, this is simply put ‘a really good album’. It will be hard to top but if they keep progressing like they have, the next album is going to be so huge it may just cause a global shift.

I had originally planned on taking each song and breaking it down for you, with cliff note explanations and hilarious anecdotes but then I realized a very important point. This is an Against Me! album, what fun would it be reading about how good it sounds? I say go out and buy the album (or follow suit with those downloading hooligans) grab your highest quality headphones, strap yourself in and hit play. That would be the only honest way you could get the best representation out of this album. Sure, you may be thinking to yourself that I’m lazy and talentless at reviewing but let me tell you this…while you’re sitting there staring at a screen reading every word for word description about how a song sounds, I’ll be burning down my local church.

What I will do to wet your appetite is give you a few reasons why I am so enthralled with this album. Besides the fact that the band has slowly peeled away their punk sound and taken on a more rock approach, the songs all progress very smoothly. From the upbeat intro of “White Crosses” to the slowed down, grey skied downer, “We’re Breaking Up”. The music flows together with ease. By the time you’ve hit my favorite track on the album, “Rapid Decompression” you’re longing for a punk rock induced kick in the teeth and with this song that is exactly what you get. Fast, hard and to the point. From the political ramblings of “High Pressure Low” to the lyrical genius of “Spanish Moss” it really is no wonder they have been acclaimed with such success and admiration in their career.

To sum it all up in a nutshell and when the smoke clears I honestly feel like this album has enticed the anarchist in me and at times I feel like making a difference and making it now. That is easily one of the truest signs of a job well done. Any album that brings out emotions and motivation from within is definitely alright by me. I tip my hat to you Against Me! You’ve really outdone yourselves this time.



21 Comments

  1. Don5/27/2010 7:08 AM | Permalink

    What are you 12 years old? Against Me! haven’t been good in 6 years. This album and the one before it is so watered down. They are sellouts who gave up their ideals for cash. I am glad Warren quit because at least it shows one member of the band I loved so much still has some integrity left.

  2. 5/27/2010 7:52 AM | Permalink

    who cares about selling out. it happens to everybody. if you dont appreciate the music don’t listen to it.

  3. tlcochrane
    Taron Cochrane5/27/2010 8:09 AM | Permalink

    Hey Don,

    Thanks for the feedback. Unfortunate we don’t share the same feelings about the album. Appreciate your input.

    -Taron.

  4. 5/27/2010 8:25 AM | Permalink

    Punk’s not dead
    It just deserves to die
    When it becomes another stale cartoon
    A close-minded, self-centered social club
    Ideas don’t matter, it’s who you know
    If the music’s gotten boring
    It’s because of the people
    Who want everyone to sound the same
    Who drive bright people out
    Of our so-called scene
    ‘Til all that’s left Is just a meaningless fad

  5. 5/27/2010 8:26 AM | Permalink

    Why did give one star next to my post? I’d say four stars.

  6. Adam5/27/2010 12:08 PM | Permalink

    Everybody needs to shut up with this elitist bullshit “punker-than-thou” crap. Against Me! have changed as people, and they made a great rock record. Tom isn’t an anarchist anymore because anarchy is a system within itself. I think that this album is one of their best; second only to Former Clarity.

  7. Adam5/27/2010 12:11 PM | Permalink

    ok I gave the album 5 stars. I don’t know why the hell it says only 1

  8. Soe Jib5/27/2010 5:57 PM | Permalink

    after reading this review.. I think that Taron guy has sold out too
    He used to be so punk, but now? c’mon why cant everything just stay the same and have no artistic evolution or growth.
    I like my cheerios as they were, I don’t need no honey-nut shit
    and I’ll take my punk rock the same.. anyone hear the lastes pennywise album?

  9. 5/27/2010 6:50 PM | Permalink

    I love music not “punk rock”. Give the album a good listen and I think it’s hard to deny that it rocks.

  10. opus
    OPUS5/27/2010 8:48 PM | Permalink

    It’s only selling out if the music is void of meaning and honesty. While I think Reinventing Axl Rose will always be the pinnacle of Against Me!, I don’t think they have sold out since then. You can still tell they mean what they say in their lyrics. People throw the whole “they sold out” card way too fucking much.

  11. laurenmills
    Lauren Mills5/28/2010 6:49 AM | Permalink

    hahahahaha Epic win for the comment!

  12. danarasm
    danarasm5/28/2010 9:14 PM | Permalink

    This disc kicks ass, beginning to end. New sounds, great songwriting and high quality production. Against me has the balls to grow and change regardless of what anybody says. Isn’t that punk enough? Five stars, and this album will be huge.

  13. 5/30/2010 11:21 AM | Permalink

    A great record. It is as simple as that, life is temporary and we need to stop complaining about what is or is not, punk. Against Me! are a great band who still have the ability to change people through their music, White Crosses is a great album and I feel it carries the same intelligence and greatness as every other record of theirs.

  14. fuck6/6/2010 4:18 PM | Permalink

    sweet review

  15. nekropigeon
    nekropigeon6/7/2010 11:40 AM | Permalink

    The new album is the sound of Against Me! 13 years after “Axl Rose.” Tom is 30, his perspective has changed, no more banging on buckets and unmic’d acoustics. The audience and venues are bigger so unplugged isn’t going to cut it. But if you listened to any of White Crosses or New Wave, the message is there albeit the music has changes. I’m a fan of both old and new, but as a musician I can tell you there is a lot more substance and talent put into these later albums. So I guess damn them for evolving as artists. This is why the whole punk genre has turned into a farce. Punk started with no definitions and boundaries but now it is just chock full of the punk-police that cry when some band doesn’t conform to their expectations, like some elitist bullshit club…the antithesis of punk rock. If you listen to the record you will hear them address this exact situation, but sadly, too many listeners are just sitting around and wishing to hear the same broken punk-rock clichés over & over & over. “Oh, I am anarchists and love anarchist punk as long as it follows all these rules.” Gimme a break.

  16. J. Voland6/17/2010 12:01 PM | Permalink

    I don’t care that they grew up, or that they signed on to a major label. that doesn’t matter. what matters is that this record is pretty much radio-pop rock, overly produced, with 1, maybe 2 good songs. The fact that you posted a 5 star review of this just means no one is going to take this site seriously. Even if you like the album, you’re honestly going to tell me this is a PERFECT RECORD?! Like. in 20 years people will be talking about White Crosses like we do London Calling??? get out of here!

    “Bamboo Bones” is the only really great song on this release/

  17. Taron Cochrane6/20/2010 12:05 PM | Permalink

    I write reviews, as per, my own personal feelings towards each album. For me this is in fact an amazing album and one I will enjoy for many years to come.

    The purpose of a review is to enlighten the reader with your own personal experience of what you just heard and that’s what I always intend to do.

    No two people will have the exact same taste in the exact same music, sadly that’s not how the world works. So I’m not trying to convince anyone as to why they should love an album but merely telling you what I got from it.

    I never compared it to ‘London Calling’ at any point and (although I agree with you)…simply by stating ‘London Calling’ as a perfect album, you have just done what you are criticizing me for doing…giving a truthful and honest opinion.

    I don’t expect everyone that hears this album to have it become a europhic life changing experience but I can honestly say that I like it.

    Album reviews are meant to give a personal perspective and a brief explanation of what you just heard and although you don’t agree with mine, I do appreciate you taking the time to read it.

    All the best,
    Taron

  18. crmulhern
    The Fenian7/27/2010 10:55 AM | Permalink

    lolz @flamewar on this forum.

    Anyways, I’m not a fan of this album, not because I believe AM! has ‘sold out,’ but because, to be honest, I was bored by a lot of the tracks.

  19. remont7/27/2011 3:35 AM | Permalink

    More useful subject and I’m waiting for more .

  20. Vince Champaco7/27/2011 5:26 AM | Permalink

    most of your reviews suck and are trash.please atleast change the icon for the punk and pop punk(blink, new found glory) just wasted a bunch of my time with five star wannabe four year strong crap without breakdowns

  21. donaldwong156
    donaldwong1563/3/2017 5:16 AM | Permalink

    nice songs

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