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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.