White Crosses

Somewhere inside of me, deep down, there is a gutter punk in me riding the Metro across Houston with a 24″ green mohawk and matching steel toed Doc Martens that sometimes queues up Fifteen, Screeching Weasel, Black Flag or makes me watch American Hardcore with just a little bit of regret to wash the whiskey down. He is the one that usually gets me in trouble. He is the one that turns up the headphones so loud my ears ring when I take them off and my coworkers can hear my music with them over my ears. He is the one that got me into Against Me! and while I love them I have never been an anarchist so it’s been a weird relationship. It didn’t stop me from screaming along with Baby I’m an Anarchist or putting Pints of Guinness Make You Strong on a ton of mix tapes and even though it’s been a while since I queued up an Against Me! album Reinventing Axl Rose is one of those classics I will always come back to. It’s one of those things that comes and goes with me. I never followed the band per se and didn’t know they had a new album out until someone dropped this one on me and piqued my interest. White Crosses is proof that even the most devout punks grow up some day. Sounding less like Crimpshrine these days and more like Bad Religion, not really but close enough if you know the bands, the boys in Against Me! have put together an album that is full of politics I don’t agree with but still love. Apparently they are calling this style folk-punk or some such nonsense. To me it’s just good music.

It’s not the music on this one that stands out though it’s the lyrics that make this album what it is. From the anthem of innocence lost and roads not taken I Was a Teenage Anarchist (“I was a teenage anarchist, but then the scene got too rigid. It was a mob mentality, they set their rifle sights on me.”) to Bamboo Bones (“I’m embarrassed to admit it, I’ve got no grip. I’m leading with my jaw.”) Tom Gabriel presents us with everyday life complete with all of its dirty nasty reality. He throws down the gauntlet and expects us to pick it up. While this isn’t the most rockin’ album of the season nor does it push any barriers it is ultimately an album about not losing faith in yourself and those around despite all the shit this world throws at you and that’s all it needs to be. So call it folk-punk, rock ‘n’ roll or whatever the hell you want White Crosses is a solid offering from a band that isn’t afraid to grow up a little bit and put life into perspective.

Against Me! – I was a Teenage Anarchist
Against Me! – Bamboo Bones
Against Me! – Because of the Shame

Against Me! on Myspace

9 thoughts on “AGAINST ME! – WHITE CROSSES”

  1. I like it overall except for that Bob Dylan Dream song.
    I skip that one every time.

  2. I hate this one. Searching for a Former Clarity had some good parts but As the Eternal Cowboy was the last one I actually liked. New Wave was awful and this just follows that line for me. The lyrics are just justifications for the choices they’ve made and the music just seems uninspired. For this type of music I want to feel like I have to be up front singing along and this record makes me want to go to the bar next door.

    Every once and awhile me and NB have to disagree.

  3. i have talked to numerous people who either love or hate where against me has gone since Reinventing Axl Rose. in my opinion they have progressed very well, the lyrics are still powerful, sing along rock anthems fuck yeah. to be honest i just dont get people who criticize when a band progresses to a little bit of a different style. people thought the clash went off the deep end when sandinista! came out and that record is nothing but a CLASSIC. i can still listen to reinventing axl rose or as the eternal cowboy and still totally get into new wave or white crosses. people who don,t like new wave or white crosses, listen to tom gabel’s solo record heart burns from last year and it should make more sense. upon first listen i didn,t like the bob dylan song but then was singing it riding home the other day, dig it now. have a feelin i will enjoy this band for a long, long time. ps-WHITE CROSSES ON THE CHURCH LAWNS, I WANT TO SMASH THEM ALL. hell yeah

  4. I love this band, however this album is the biggest disappointment of the year I can’t even listen to it. I honestly can’t believe how much I can’t stand it. I really like all of their previous albums. Surprised on the review but everyone is entitled to their opinion.

  5. Those kids that just wanted them to make Reinventing over and over again are silly. I love that record but a band that doesn’t progress to a certain extent gets boring fast. Tom Gabel screaming about anarchy while putting out records on Sire would be a hard sell. I actually really enjoy the growth from Crime>Reinventing>Disco>As Eternal>Searching but past that the songs just aren’t as good for me. Their current shows are a great way to illustrate it. Watch the crowd reaction during Pints of Guinness then Thrash Unreal and you’ll see a totally different level of enthusiasm.

  6. I really like this album. Of course, I have no emotional attachment to whatever they used to be. (I’ve got “Axl” and like it too, but I have no problem with them adding a little pop into the mix)

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