Against Me!

White Crosses

Written by: PP on 10/05/2010 03:43:23

"Do you remember when you were young and you wanted to set the world on fire" sings Tom Gabel on "Teenage Anarchist", an infectiously catchy track from Against Me!'s fifth studio album "White Crosses". You can't help but think Tom is reflecting on his own growth as a person, his coming into maturity and wisdom, if you will, because we all remember our teenage years when we felt that the western political leaders were Satan's accomplices incurably corrupt-to-the-bone. The years where we had a little punk rocker anarchist living within ourselves where we believed in all sorts of hippie things like animal rights, Greenpeace and the lot above focusing on issues that actually matter. "White Crosses" is essentially Against Me! closing that chapter of their lives for good, picking up exactly where "New Wave" picked off, delivering more infectiously catchy, radio-friendly mainstream punk rock but without any of the passion or the soul of the band's early output.

Yawn, there goes PP again rambling about the punk rock ethics and how bands shouldn't change a working formula yada yada yada.

But yet there's no denying that the Tom Gabel found within "White Crosses" or the previous record for that matter doesn't sound as pissed off at the world as he used to be. But that's a minor detail, and if you're able to overcome that fact and accept "White Crosses" as essentially a pop / mainstream record with hints of a punk background, then there's lots of good, albeit unsurprising, songs to be found here. "Suffocation" won't leave your head for days after you first hear it, "White Crosses" is very similar to the title track from "New Wave" with its thumping beat and big chorus, and "High Pressure Low" is a happy and upbeat mainstream punk song that's easily accessible because of another huge sing along chorus. Gabel does in fact sing about socio-political issues occasionally, he just does it from a more general perspective compared to the piercing commentary of their early years. Whether that's a good or bad depends entirely on when you were first introduced to Against Me!; those of you who got into the band on "Searching For A Former Clarity" or later will probably be relieved that the band isn't going back to their anarchist folk punk roots, whilst the 'old school' fans will see "White Crosses" as a definite confirmation on their suspicions that Against Me! has indeed sold out.

Like one commenter nicely put it on another site; "White Crosses" is an even bigger fuck you to the band's old fanbase than "New Wave" was, and that should be more than enough information for you to decide whether or not you're going to like this album. Me? I enjoy the bright sing alongs aimed at audiences of 3,000 people or more--Green Day style--but not without slight regrets regarding how incredible songs this band used to write compared to the just good cuts on "White Crosses".


Download: White Crosses, I Was A Teenage Anarchist, Suffocation
For the fans of: modern era Green Day, Blink 182
Listen: Myspace

Release date 07.06.2010
Sire Records

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