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Against Me!
White Crosses
Warner Bros. Records
www.againstme.net


Like many a critic awash in [the] sea of less-than-inspired music that has been coming to our ears of late (I'm talking to you Kesha), I was looking forward to the release of Against Me!'s latest, White Crosses, if for no other reason than it would resemble rock in some way. When it did grace my mailbox, I put it in the cd player with much zeal, ready to hear something that equaled "Some Kind Of Clarity" "Re-Inventing Axl Rose" or, at the very least, the shining moments of "New Wave."

No such luck. After the catchy, if pompous, lead single "I Was A Teenage Anarchist" I was deflated, let down in spades by the sheer lack of originality Tom Gabel and the boys in black put into this record. Were they phoning it in? Did they believe what they were saying or were they just letting the good press go to their heads and buying that they were somehow the leaders of the third wave of punk? Though there are a few good numbers to be found on the record ("Anarchist", "High Pressure Low") most of the record is basic, run of the mill pop-punk with some ballads thrown in for good measure and the Hot Topic crowd.

Now, I am all for a band expanding, growing, cultivating a sound all their own but I feel and my ears tell me that, Against Me! is doing the opposite. They are pulling away from their punk roots, getting big name producers (Butch Vig produced "Crosses") and now have a major label to throw on some gloss. One would think that a band whose M.O. is to scream "Rise Up, Be Who You Are" would do just that; take the time, money and backing and make a record entirely theirs instead of coming off like some sad Green Day wannabes.

Gabel screams in "I Was A Teenage Anarchist", "The Revolution was a
lie!!!!" Perhaps the revolution was lying, but more than likely it was you that was
full of shit.

-Danny R. Phillips

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Mike Doughty



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