Against Me! – New Wave

Against Me! – New Wave / 2007 Sire / 10 Tracks / / /

Long time individuals know that I’ve had a relationship (or at least feelings, since I’ve only met them once) with Against Me! for quite a few years. I loved the work that they did on the destroyed full-length album and the “Crime” EP. I still liked their work with “Reinventing Axl Rose”, but the band seemed to fall on hard times with “Searching for a Former Clarity” and “As The Eternal Cowboy”. However, “White People For Peace” is a solid track and an interesting, if not a little strange, video. I thought I’d give “New Wave” a chance, even though producer Bruce Vig (who did Nirvana’s “Nevermind”) may just do to the band what Bob Rock did to Metallica (made them suck badly).

“New Wave” is a  solid track from Against Me!, and while the band’s work seems to get lost in a wall of sound at points, the arrangements are spot-on, and both the lead guitars and vocals step up to impress. There is still the discussion of revolution, but it is hidden further behind similies and adjectives on this album. That means that the band may be just talking to the converted, but I would be lying if I said I didn’t like the opening, title track for “New Wave”. The vocals sound like they are an octave or a so lower, which is an interesting thing, but this is normalized due to the fact that all of the songs on “New Wave” sound that. Even though the band is on a bigger stage than they have ever been, the tracks on “new Wave” have some spontaneity to them.

This means that the jangly guitars that construe “Up The Cuts” call forth older Against Me! disc. The tracks may not be able to be sang along to in the same style as a “Jordan’s First Choice” or “Burn”, but there are moments when the band reaches their old glory. During a track like “Thrash Unreal”, it feels as if Against Me! has moved much more towards the sound of a My Chemical Romance than anything. The same, somewhat-snotty vocals have a lot to do with this, and while the powerful, simple constructs of the band differ from that of MCR, there is some simulation between the two acts. Against Me! makes an interesting albums, but there is not the attention to creating an amazing song as has been present in prior albums. “Stop!” may have a disco sound to it, but the band struggles through “New Wave” to make an album that captures the spark that brought fans to them.

Top Tracks: Piss and Vinegar, Animal

Rating: 6.4/10

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Author: James McQuiston

Ph.D. in Political Science, Kent State University. I have been the editor at NeuFutur / since I was 15. Looking for new staff members all the time; email me if you are interested. Thanks!

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