The first you thing you realise when you listen to White Crosses is how far Against Me! has progressed sonically. The raw sound that captured a legion of fans on albums like As The Eternal Cowboy and Reinventing Axl Rose has morphed into a polished, slickly produced product which will alienate a lot of those fans. But, if you’re like me and caught onto Against Me! over the last couple albums, then you’ll love the new record.
Tom Gabel’s borderline anarchic folk tales take a more personal turn especially in the tracks ‘Because Of The Shame’ and ‘We’re Breaking Up’. New drummer George Rebelo slots in well with the Against Me! sound and for this release the whole band seem to have more input into the songs and the backing vocals than in the past such as in ‘Spanish Moss’.
The essence of the band is still there in the track ‘I Was A Teenage Anarchist’. The songs are still great. The sound has matured over the years, with White Crosses adapting a more Springsteen-eqsue sound that has resonated in the punk scene lately. (see The Gaslight Anthem)
Old school fans won’t like this album and no doubt will jump on message boards complaining how much they now suck. But, those with a more open mind will appreciate where the band has come from and where they are now at, and understand that the progression has just made Against Me! a better band.
White Crosses has been brought forward for release on April 30th.