Against Me!
White Crosses


4.0
excellent

Review

by oldaboriginee USER (3 Reviews)
June 7th, 2010 | 20 replies | 3,814 views


Release Date: 2010 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Against Me! move into the mainstream with stadium-sized new album... not half as bad as it sounds

0 of 1 thought this review was well written

Eight years ago Against Me! released the brilliantly-titled Reinventing Axl Rose. It came across as the angriest folk record ever made with singer/guitarist/ anarchist sloganeer Tom Gabel screaming over wrist-achingly fast strumming. In other words Reinventing was as close to a true punk record as anyone could ever hope to make and as a result had a very limited audience. With every album since then Against Me! have widened their popularity. Until 2007s New Wave gave them a minor breakthrough and a few killer singles in the form of Thrash Unreal and White People For Peace. This new album from Against Me! continues this trend and is much more poppy than even New Wave. The drums thunder and boom, the guitar is often soaked in effects and several of the tracks prominently use piano. No doubt this is going to see Against Me! labelled as sellouts but this view seems slightly narrow minded. For a start Against Me! are far from the first punk band to move in a more popular direction. The Clash and Nirvan both did it and produced their career defining albums while bands like The Ramones, Bad Religion and especially Green Day have remained popular whilst expanding their fan base. In fact, with White Crosses, Against Me! sound fairly similar to American Idiot era Green Day. They both manage to combine punk ideals with big choruses. However while Green Day have moved even more into the mainstream with the mediocre 21st Century Breakdown and a broadway musical (what the hell were they thinking !?). Against Me! manage counterbalance their commercial sound with brilliant, intelligent lyrics that, for me, really define this album.. From the emotional Because Of The Shame (in which Gabel mourns the loss of a former girlfriend by singing that “I watched your mother bury you today with tears in her eyes, It wasn’t her words that shook me, it was the resemblance you shared”) to the ranting of High Pressure Low (how many other bands could combine lyrics like “ Vestal virgins triumph over lifelong inhibitions” with a sing-along chorus). These two are only a couple of the brilliant lyrics that I kept discovering throughout the album.
Although the big sounding arena rock approach is probably going to put off Against Me!’s more punk fans I’m predicting it’s going to find them a whole new group of fans among the people who prefer Green Day to Black Flag and personally I don’t think it’s a bad thing. White Crosses starts the album by making me want to air guitar and air drum at the same time and it only gets better. I Was A Teenage Anarchist’s anthemic chorus will sound great screamed out by a few thousand yelling fans as will the shouts at the end of Rapid Decompression. The only low points on the album are the acoustic ballad Ache With Me (which just seems a and meandering and only serves to slow down the album’s pace) and Suffocation (a mid tempo song seems to lack the drive of the rest of the album) however by the time the final chorus of Bamboo Bones has finished blasting out of your speakers you’ll have little time to dwell on the small disappointments of these songs as you’ll be too busy humming along to any one of the other eight tracks.
Although White Crosses is a pretty massive departure from Against Me!’s folk punk roots that will probably see them labelled as sell-outs by their old fans, I can see it winning them a whole new legion of fans with its intelligent lyrics and stadium-sized choruses and, when they write songs this good, that can only be a good thing.


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2.9
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Comments:Add a Comment 
JohnnyBiggs
June 7th 2010



61 Comments


Great review, really excited for this album.

To all you old hippies: Reinventing Axl Rose came out 8 years ago. AM! have moved on, and you should too. However, if you genuinely don't like White Crosses because of the music (not because "they sold out!" "it's not reinventing!! waaaahhh!!") then that's fine, I can respect your opinion.



mitch91
June 7th 2010



409 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

The review could do with paragraphing a bit, but apart from that it was good.

As for the album, I'm torn. The good songs are really great (Rapd Decompression, High Pressure Low) but there are some stinkers (We're Breaking Up, Bob Dylan Dream [bonus track]). I don't mind their new sound, but the production is just too much sometimes- they've (or should I say Butch Vig has) taken all the grit out of Tom's voice and ruined the backing vocals completely.

I'm not really sure where they go from here, I don't mind this sound as long as they get their balls back, even New Wave had that.

Digging: Bry Webb - Free Will

VicariousIntent
June 7th 2010



1593 Comments


I still need to hear this in it's entirety. Pretty good review too.

Side note: I saw American Idiot on Broadway and it was actually excellent.

robin
Emeritus
June 7th 2010



4241 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

-the revolution was a lie-

megadeth101
June 7th 2010



865 Comments


Pretty sure I love this but i'm not ready to embrace it.

Mordecai.
June 7th 2010



8270 Comments


review is just a block of text, paragraphs please

Mordecai.
June 7th 2010



8270 Comments


review is just a block of text, paragraphs please

Hommer
June 7th 2010



52 Comments


Poppier then New Wave? Expect backlash. Me, I did like American Idiot and didn't mind 21st Century Breakdown, so hopefully this is that kind of departure.

Vampolka
June 7th 2010



163 Comments


I Was a Teenage Anarchist!

tom79
June 7th 2010



3364 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

I don't dig this at all. I still listen to AM! quite often though, this just sounds really bad to me. Teenage Anarchist is an especially terrible song.

Digging: Joyce Manor - Never Hungover Again

FxckNelson
June 8th 2010



10 Comments


I feel like they pissed on their old albums with this one. How can this be the same band that made Reinventing Axle Rose? This is so pathetic. It's like how the 2nd and 3rd matrix movies' terribleness somehow tarnished the excellence of the first movie, know what I mean?

TheSpirit
June 8th 2010



17192 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

I know I'm the minority here, but I actually really liked this album

Digging: vhmnt / blsphm - vhmnt / blsphm

Satellite
June 8th 2010



20687 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

I'm a longtime fan who enjoyed NW, but this...no.

Digging: Run the Jewels - Run the Jewels

Satellite
June 8th 2010



20687 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

But big ups to Tom for making all the dumpster-diving beardcore anarchists butthurt.

mitch91
June 8th 2010



409 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

"How can this be the same band that made Reinventing Axle Rose?"

Have you not listened to any of the albums in between? They've evolved gradually between each release to reach the point they're at now, I'm not saying I like their new sound but its not as if they've made a sudden and utter change.

megadeth101
June 8th 2010



865 Comments


I have made my decision.

I'm on the right side

hoipolloi
June 8th 2010



152 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

i still need to check this out, but im nervous cuz i really like against me! and i dont wanna ruin it

tripleb2k
June 8th 2010



217 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

pretty disappointed with this one.

Ire
June 9th 2010



41749 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

I don't understand the hate.

Zion
June 12th 2010



812 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Is good.



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