Thursday, November 8, 2007

Against Me! - The Disco Before the Breakdown

(No Idea, 2002)

Relatively ambitious and expansive stuff from Floridian punkers who ended up on the majors a few years later. For better or worse, these guys seem to have been tagged as Clash-like flag-wavers, the thinking/working band for the thinking/working man. That can be an uncomfortable, suffocating ghetto, one that attracts particularly pissy fans ready to shriek "sellout" at every move, but this single at least shows the group willing to goof a little in the song titles ("Tonight We're Gonna Give it 35%") while staying on message and keeping it heartfelt 'n' earnest in the vocal department. There's a pleasing range of styles on parade: The shout-along A-side's horns and backing vocals are a nice surprise, "...35%" does the quiet/loud/louder thing, and "Beginning in an Ending" is just acoustic guitar + howl. The modest, fistpump tempos on all three songs lend an anthemic feel to the proceedings, and there's the faintest whiff of classic-rock sensibilities in the arrangements. Scene's not my bag, but I'll definitely give credit for keeping me interested and on my toes.

No comments: