Against Me!
White Crosses


4.0
excellent

Review

by Iluvatar EMERITUS
June 9th, 2010 | 175 replies


Release Date: 2010 | Tracklist

Review Summary: The soundtrack to twenty thousand-ish hearts breaking

Can someone tell me when the fuck Tom Gabel sold out" I mean seriously, asking 10 Against Me! fans would net you ten totally different answers. Was it New Wave, with its power-pop" Was it Searching for a Former Clarity, with its lack of ANRCHOPUNX" Was it the chic choice of Re-Inventing Axl Rose, where, god forbid, they made their first real record with…electric guitars!" The obvious answer is of course as soon as Tom Gabel stopped recording using his boom box, but I suppose you could also say White Crosses is a pretty big milestone in the constant selling out by the band.

New Wave was arguably better received than its predecessor due to the fact that, beyond all the “MAINSTREAM” melodies, the production still let Against Me!’s trademark passion shine through. White Crosses, on the other hand, features production as slick as a member of The Bravery’s hair (and sounds a lot like the 80s sound that band tries to capture, coincidentally). If you liked Against Me! to any extent pre-2005, you’re going to hate this, and if you don’t, you’re probably lying to yourself. This is a totally different band; no more cries of “I WAS BURNING THAT FUER AND STREAMING MY BLACK FLAG HIGH”, instead replaced by Tom pondering the existence of beautiful blond girls living in the same town as him.

So, a punk album White Crosses is not. It share far more in common with any number of Bruce Springsteen albums than it does anything one would normally associate with Against Me!, and thank god, because that shit was getting boring. The album is packed full of glossy guitar riffs, silly sing a long lyrics, and bombastic arena-rock choruses. It’s not a unique sound in the slightest, but Tom and co take the energy and charisma that drove their old crappy punk songs and apply them in great fashion to their newer, perhaps slightly more exhausted sound.

The lyrical content is focused entirely on things not related to being a trend hopping political activist (except for one song dedicated entirely to saying how much of an idiot Tom was 9 years ago). Some of the songs explore in surprising depth death and loss, and the lyrical highlight of the album has to go to “ I watched your mother bury you today, with tears in her eyes, it wasn't her words that shook me, but the resemblance you shared”. While sometimes it can veer on the wrong side of preachy and cheesy, Gabel’s charisma generally forces you into digging otherwise overwrought lyrics like “But before you point your finger, before you cast your stones, take a look at yourself/How can you expect from someone what you won't do yourself"”

So, White Crosses is a radio rock album. An incredibly tight, well performed one with all the magnetism and charm of Against Me!’s past albums, but it is still just a rock album. While this caps what the band accomplishes, its still the most straightforwardly enjoyable thing they’ve ever done, and those with a simple want for a rock and roll album will not be disappointed. However, lets make one more clear cut distinction: IF YOU HAVE BEEN TO A SHOW IN GAINESVILLE BEFORE 2005, YOU ARE GOING TO FUCKING HATE THIS.



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Chart.
3
good
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Comments:Add a Comment 
Athom
Emeritus
June 9th 2010


17241 Comments


sup emeritus
you were supposed to 5 this.

Satellite
June 9th 2010


25710 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Music is mostly a meritocracy and Tom has every right to make as much money as he wants; anyone who tries to argue otherwise is probably full of shit. I could give a fuck less about "DIY punk ethics" and anarcho bullshit or whatever. It's fucking hilarious to watch this band's dumpster-diving fanbase get butthurt about the non-aesthetic qualities of this album.



That said, this album is a shitheap.

Digging: Jeff Rosenstock - POST-

BigHans
June 9th 2010


28629 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Yeah this doesnt quite sound like Against Me!. Pretty awesome review. That said, I kind of like this.

robin
Emeritus
June 9th 2010


4447 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

awesome review but i think you will find -the revolution was a lie-



really dig this record at times on my big against me phases



p.s. i love your use of capitals in venting

Satellite
June 9th 2010


25710 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

"It share far more in common with..."

mitch91
June 9th 2010


420 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Against Me! have ruined George Rebelo. And We're Breaking Up sucks.

tuk
June 9th 2010


151 Comments


I had a little obsession with Because Of The Shame some days or weeks. That lyric you quoted is so sweeping.

BigHans
June 9th 2010


28629 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Spanish Moss rules. Gang vocal whoa-oh-oahs for the win.

cvlts
June 9th 2010


9442 Comments


god i feel like i'll hate this.

sniper
June 9th 2010


19075 Comments


I love that summary a lot.

klap
Staff Reviewer
June 9th 2010


11820 Comments


who is john hanson

Klekticist
June 9th 2010


1263 Comments


gonna hate this. ive still got my old Re-inventing axl rose shirt somewhere...

Ire
June 9th 2010


41948 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

who is john hanson

Hommer
June 9th 2010


52 Comments


Reinventing had some pretty good tracks, but I don't think it was really too much better than New Wave.

Love, love the first paragraph.

RebelWithoutApplause
June 9th 2010


220 Comments


Best ending evar.

RebelWithoutApplause
June 9th 2010


220 Comments


Best ending evar.

DirEnRefused
June 9th 2010


3395 Comments


Holy ish, Iluvatar review.

Ire
June 9th 2010


41948 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Don't let the god awful username deter you, Iluvatar is another solid reviewer on Sputnikmusic.

freedomofspeechnoway
June 9th 2010


426 Comments


didnt mention a single song the entire time CONCEPT REVIEW


And a bad one at that.


If you liked Against Me! to any extent pre-2005, you’re going to hate this, and if you don’t, you’re probably lying to yourself.


God sputnik...do something about this horrible staff writing.


Ire
June 9th 2010


41948 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

but MJ actually likes your writing...



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