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Album Review: Against Me! - White Crosses

Against Me!'s second major label release more or less picks up where 'New Wave' left off. Like the latter, the balance between the bands folk punk origins and mainstream rock radio is firmly in place as 'I Was A Teenage Anarchist';

Elsewhere the bands socially-aware and aggressive lyrics are still intact, as 'Suffocation' shows; "Suffocation. Modern life in the western world". Whilst 'High Pressure Low' kicks off with an 80's-esque bass line before kicking into their usual rocking style.

The upbeat 'We're Breaking Up' has delicate piano notes and a sustaining guitar sound that provides a back bone and supports Gabel's passionate words. 'Ache With Me' sways and is laid back with Gabel's sorrowed voice being complemented by a light, acoustic guitar. It provides a thoughtful moment and the ideal time with stand out line being "Do you share the same sense of defeat? Have you realized all the things you’ll never be?". It provides a thoughtful moment and proves to be one of the albums highlights.

'Spanish Moss' is lyrically escapist and musically it is somewhat safe yet fits the albums tone just right. 'Rapid Decompression' is your typical, highly energetic Against Me! that storm their way through with a true punk rock ethos; gang vocals delivered with much angst and guitars that rapturous. At one minute forty-eight seconds, it is burst of complete punk rock energy of Against Me! at their best. Whilst 'Bamboo Bones' rounds off the album with the bands acceptable punk rock sway, with am anthemic chorus of "What god doesn't give to you, You've got to go and get for yourself". It is one that soars and sees the band throwing everything behind it.

'White Crosses' isn't as instant as its predecessor, whilst the bands growth and to an extent, change in direction continues. Gabel and company are still rough yet enjoyable around the edges and shows they are willing to stick to their origns, rather than go and "sell out". However despite the former statement, I found the more I listened to the record as awhole, the more I enjoyed it. I think this is because Against Me! are one of those bands that go out to make albums, not singles.

Is 'White Crosses' a worthy follow up to 'New Wave'? Yes it is, as the band's style is (kind of) more rounded, yet you end up feeling there is something missing. Perhaps the ten tracks here aren't enough to fill our Against Me!?

Nevertheless I'm sure this will win over the sceptics but equally lose fans who do not like the band's evolving style.


'White Crosses' by Against Me! is released on June 7th on Sire Records.

Official Website
Against Me! on MySpace and Facebook.

Sean Reid

Alter The Press!