Review: Against Me!

Against Me!
“As the Eternal Cowboy”
(Fat Wreck Chords)

I’m going to get the one thing that I don’t like about this album out of the way first: it’s too short. Twenty-five minutes isn’t enough.  There.  That’s it.  Everything else is great.  Against Me! made the move from No Idea to Fat and their bigger budget and better distribution-the result?  Well, “Eternal Cowboy” sounds better than their last release (“Reinventing Axl Rose”) and you can probably find it in your local record store, too.

And find it you should, as acoustic ballads like “Sink, Florida, Sink” and raucous punk-a-billy numbers like “Cliché Guevara” make for one of the better albums you’ll hear.  Tom Gabel’s voice is just as gritty and poisonous as you remember it, able to go from beautifully theatrical harmonies to snarling growls at a moment’s notice.

And in case you were afraid Gabel would start writing songs about teenage heartbreak-well, you can shove your teenage heartbreak up your ass, as Against Me! turns out tra k after track documenting our shitty political situation and our seeming indifference in the face of social injustice.

If “Turn Those Clapping Hands into Angry Balled Fists” doesn’t make you stop and think then you’re not listening.  And not listening to Against Me! should be a crime.  Joe Strummer is dead but his spirit lives on, embodied by Gabel and Company.  Don’t miss out.