Against Me! started out as an incredibly rough-sounding, but incredibly talented band down in Florida. They started off as a, for lack of a better genre term, folk-punk band, mixing acoustic sounds with rough vocals and a fast sound. They eventually lost the acoustic sound as they grew, and moved farther and farther from their original identity. They’ve moved into the mainstream with their last two albums, but unfortunately, the quality of their music has suffered at the same time. We’ll discuss their first three albums only.
Reinventing Axl Rose was released in 2002 and was still fairly reminiscent of their acoustic and anti-authoritarian roots. The album included some material from earlier EPs, re-worked before release. This album is considered by most of their hardcore fans as their best effort.
After Axl, Against Me! signed to Fat Wreck Chords and released As the Eternal Cowboy in 2003. This album moved away from the folk-punk/pub-punk style that Reinventing Axl Rose established, and more into the general punk genre. Some fans were unhappy with this, but I think it’s still an amazing album.
Their final album on Fat Wreck Chords before signing to Sire Records was Searching for a Former Clarity. This album, even more than As the Eternal Cowboy, moved Against Me! further away from their musical roots, and into a more smooth, radio-friendly sound. Many of the hardcore fans that disliked As the Eternal Cowboy, as you can imagine, disliked this even more. I, however, think it was a great rock/punk album.
I won’t bother talking about their later albums, New Wave and White Crosses. New Wave wasn’t terrible, but it was a vast departure, sonically. White Crosses, from what I’ve listened to so far, marks the end of their descent into mediocrity.
-[insert LOUD NOISES here]
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