Okay, I don’t agree with much of their politics. And the exclamation point in their name is downright silly. But the Florida-based rockers Against Me! are making some of the most interesting punk I’ve heard in years.
Now I realize that in today’s world, you don’t often want to see the term “interesting” used to describe any heartfelt personal endeavor. For example, when you spend the greater part of an October weekend trudging from store to store in search of the perfect skirt-and-blouse ensemble to give your wife as a anniversary gift, you don’t want to have her open the box, stare at the contents for several longs seconds, and say, “Hmm, this is interesting.” (Not that such a thing has ever happened to me.)
But in the case of Against Me!, I’m using “interesting” in its more traditional sense. Their music – which sounds kinda like a punked-up Billy Bragg – sparks true intellectual curiosity and pleasure. From the diverse (and surprisingly accessible) instrumentation to the impassioned vocals to the socially conscious (and frequently leftist) lyrics, their songs challenge your sensibilities at the same time they have you tapping your toes.
Below is a sampling from three of their releases. Apparently, they have a new live album that’s been getting good press but I have not yet heard it myself.
From As the Eternal Cowboy:
[MP3] Against Me! – Cliché Guevara EXPIRED
From Reinventing Axl Rose:
[MP3] Against Me! – Baby, I’m an Anarchist EXPIRED
From Searching for a Former Clarity:
[MP3] Against Me! – From Her Lips to God’s Ear (The Energizer) EXPIRED
[MP3] Against Me! – Don’t Lose Touch EXPIRED
By music by Against Me!