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Against Me! - New Wave Album Cover
Author's Rating
Vocals 8
Musicianship 8
Lyrics 8.25
Production 8.5
Creativity 7.5
Lasting Value 8
Reviewer Tilt 8.5
Final Verdict: 81%
Member Ratings
Vocals 9.44
Musicianship 8.19
Lyrics 8.52
Production 9.08
Creativity 8.37
Lasting Value 8.92
Reviewer Tilt 9.04
Average: 88%
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This review was written by an AP.net staff member.

Against Me! - New Wave

Reviewed by: Drew Beringer (06/25/07)
Against Me! - New Wave
Release Date: July 10, 2007
Record Label: Sire Records


Just don’t compare it to the early stuff.

Those were my thoughts as I placed my copy of New Wave, the latest album (and first release on major label Sire Records) from Against Me!, into my CD player for the first time. After hearing their last album, Searching For A Former Clarity and reading numerous interviews with frontman Tom Gabel, it’s quite obvious that the major label debut from the Gainesville, Florida, quartet would be nothing like Reinventing Axl Rose or As The Eternal Cowboy. And that’s okay. As a big Against Me! fan, I can understand and respect Gabel’s desire to branch out and not write the same record twice, and it’s fairly evident on New Wave.

Produced by Butch Vig, the album is rich and sounds sharp. Gabel’s vocals are brash and leave a lasting impression on every song. Musically, it doesn’t stray too far from Searching, as it is more of a progression from that record. The title track begins the album with nice drumming from Warren Oakes and a rolling guitar riff that’s full of energy. “Up The Cuts” is my least favorite track on the album, as nothing in it really grabs your attention, resulting in a boring second track. “Thrash Unreal” is a hell of a foot-stomping track and will be a fun song to hear live and “Piss And Vinegar” is a scathing song with Gabel sounding irate behind the microphone.

The album’s first single, “White People For Peace,” has been met with mixed results from fans, but I enjoy it for the attitude displayed throughout, as the pace of this track definitely livens up the album. It sets the stage for “Stop,” which is no doubt one of the catchiest tunes AM! have ever released. It’s a song that beams with confidence and will be a favorite of many fans. The other song previously heard before the release was the live version of “Americans Abroad,” first heard on the live album the band released last summer. While I wasn’t an immediate fan of this song because it sounded weak live, the recorded version gives it new life and is one of my favorite tracks on the album.

The first curveball thrown on the disc is “Borne On The FM Waves,” which features a duet by Gabel and Tegan Quin, one half of the indie-pop band Tegan and Sara. Featuring a steady drum beat and a delicately-played guitar riff, the song focuses on the chemistry between Gabel and Quin’s voices. As the intensity of the music turns up halfway through, the song gets even better and will definitely go down as a major highlight in Against Me!’s entire discography.

The album closes with the subdued eeriness of “Ocean,” as the vibe of the track gives you the feeling of being out at sea. The guitars of Gabel and James Bowman needle in and out, and the rhythm of Oakes and bassist Andrew Seward keeps the song’s pulse beating. Lyrically, the song is very interesting, as Gabel sings “If I could have chosen/I would’ve been born a woman/my mother once told me/she would’ve named me Laura,” and the verse continues on with Gabel wondering what his life would have been as the opposite sex. The song closes with Gabel belting out “There is an ocean/in my soul/where the waters do not curve” as the band emphatically finishes out New Wave.

New Wave aims to be just as polarizing as Searching was, but I can see New Wave having better results, mainly because the album is only ten tracks long. While Searching had a handful of good to great songs, many songs on that album were filler, as the fourteen tracks on that album seemed to just drag on and on. With New Wave, you get the good tracks with very minimal filler, as this album has hit me harder and will stick with me longer than Searching did. As for comparing them to Reinventing and Eternal Cowboy? Well, I said I wasn’t going to do that, and for the most part, I’ve kept New Wave separate, but it comes no where close to those two records. But I can say I’m glad that Against Me! has chosen not to replicate the sound of those albums, as taking a different approach with each release has added to the band’s longevity.

New Wave is bound to turn off older fans as well as bringing in newer fans, as, in the end, there is no way around it. Older fans will be pissed Against Me! has more of a rock sound, while that same sound will also draw in newer fans. It’s a fine line Against Me! are straddling with New Wave, but as the album title suggests, Tom Gabel and company are always making new waves in their music, so it’s best you better catch onto it.

Additional InformationTrack Listing:
1. New Wave
2. Up The Cuts
3. Thrash Unreal
4. White People For Peace
5. Stop
6. Borne On The FM Waves
7. Piss And Vinegar
8. Americans Abroad
9. Animal
10. Ocean
Produced by Butch Vig

Against Me! are:
Tom Gabel - Guitar, Lead Vocals
James Bowman - Guitar, Vocals
Andrew Seward - Bass, Vocals
Warren Oakes - Drums

Offical Website; Official Myspace; Latest Against Me! News

 
Displaying posts 1 - 15 of 43
10:32 PM on 06/25/07
#2
Buried A Lie
Turn It Up! (A Little Louder)
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Haha, the first line is crucial to the review and listening to this album. Good review.
10:44 PM on 06/25/07
#3
James Johnson
Bottle Kissing Since '05
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Good review Drew. Its a solid album and im sure its going to grow on me as long as I keep the first line in your review in the front of my mind.
12:02 AM on 06/26/07
#4
dildonicsboy
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I have pretty high expectations for this, but I will wait until it comes out. So far a lot of people have been saying good things about it. I liked SFAFC a lot so I'm sure I will like this. I was kind of hoping for a better score so I am kind of scared now. Then again some pretty weak releases get really high scores here like Circa Survive's new one, while some really good records get mediocre scores so I don't know if I should really worry.
12:15 AM on 06/26/07
#5
SethGrandpa
Rock The Casbah
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"New Wave aims to turn off older fans as well as bringing in newer fans, as, in the end, there is no way around it."

Look, I think it's beyond stupid to say that a band aims to turn off fans. Think about that statement. It's ridiculous. While it may be the result it's idiocy to think that's a legitimate intention.
12:33 AM on 06/26/07
#6
evilandgood
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I have pretty high expectations for this, but I will wait until it comes out. So far a lot of people have been saying good things about it. I liked SFAFC a lot so I'm sure I will like this. I was kind of hoping for a better score so I am kind of scared now. Then again some pretty weak releases get really high scores here like Circa Survive's new one, while some really good records get mediocre scores so I don't know if I should really worry.

Good releases, weak releases...its all opinion. Like, I really enjoyed the new Circa Survive record and found the review to be accurate and the right score. You disagree, but like I said its all opinion.
12:49 AM on 06/26/07
#7
TheOtherAndrew
I like talking to things
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Well written review.
12:51 AM on 06/26/07
#8
dildonicsboy
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Good releases, weak releases...its all opinion. Like, I really enjoyed the new Circa Survive record and found the review to be accurate and the right score. You disagree, but like I said its all opinion.

I didn't mean to single that album out, I should explain a little more what I meant. It is just that some bands do hardly anything new on their new album and just use the same formula each time (or steal a formula from an already popular band/genre) and can still get rated highly (in the 90's) while a band that tries to push the boundaries sometimes doesn't score as high in some cases (like Brand New). In the end you are right, it is a matter of opinion, I just think that ratings can be misleading here.

I think Against Me! has done a good job changing up their sound from each album, and hopefully I will like "New Wave" because I am freaking out now. I have just anticipated this album so much. If this one bombs I guess I still have Thrice
05:16 AM on 06/26/07
#9
GoWaitInTheCar
The World Won't Listen.
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I'm such a fan of their rock sound. There are so many acoustic bands out there and sure none did it like Against Me! did it but the rock sound is incredible.

I'll be picking up this the day it hits stores.
08:35 AM on 06/26/07
thisisadisaster
RICK FROM ALABAMA
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great review drew.
09:06 AM on 06/26/07
yoyoninjagirl
Nobody's Nothing
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nice review. I need to check this album out.
09:31 AM on 06/26/07
CountMeOut923
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great review, cant wait to hear this for myself.
09:32 AM on 06/26/07
love_american_style
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Quote:
Just don’t compare it to the early stuff

people should take that in consideration with most bands that change direction from their earlier sound.
09:41 AM on 06/26/07
TheOtherAndrew
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people should take that in consideration with most bands that change direction from their earlier sound.
People seem to be particularly retarded in that aspect with this band.
09:48 AM on 06/26/07
Dr. Acula
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nice review Drew. Cant wait for this album.
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