Against Me!

"The revolution was a lie" is our current favorite of the many realizations to escape through Against Me! front man Tom Gabel's (very) clenched teeth on the Florida band's new album, White Crosses. And he's pissed about it, which befits a reformed punk anarchist who has mellowed enough to embrace major-label compromise, acoustic-guitar-plus-harmonica solo EPs and the blissful Dorito bite of an oft-repeated "Whooo-ooooo-oooooa" chorus. If the Western world has to choke on its own gross national product, the sound might as well be catchy. The revolution was supposed to be catchy. What's so jarring about White Crosses is how nothing in 2010 sounded quite like it: It has as little in common with 3OH!3 as it does with Vampire Weekend. And yet it's one of those incredibly useful anomalies, like Weezer's blue album in the midst of grunge, or Los Lobos roots-rocking over New Wave. Ten years ago, we would've called it generic (though like all punkoid upstarts, ten years ago, Against Me! were generic). But today, it's nothing short of a revelation, a strong message to Lady Gaga and, um, chillwave that not only will power chords never die, but at least one band will always be around to prove they don't suck, either. The Gainesville foursome offers those chords in comforting order at an unchallenging tempo, coaxing out your chorus-singing impulses.
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Dan Weiss