On 2007's NEW WAVE, Against Me! mastermind Tom Gabel leads his loyal troops into strange new territory known as the major label. Once diehards get over the one-two punch of their favorite Floridian punk-folk act jumping to Sire Records and taking on a fairly straight-ahead rock sound, they are likely to find plenty of memorable tunes that both embrace and subvert the pop aesthetic.
Case in point is "White People for Peace," a catchy track that skews protest songs while showcasing the group's amped-up work with revered alt-rock producer Butch Vig (Nirvana, Garbage). Although the gruff-voiced Gabel and his crew may have lost some fans in their shift to the majors, Against Me! is sure to garner many more admirers with NEW WAVE, an intriguing album that features an outspoken outsider working within a system that he used to oppose.
Against Me!'s distinct brand of rousing punk-folk began in 1997 with the solo sounds of then 17-year-old, Florida-based protest singer Laura Jane Grace. The band would eventually solidify by 2001 and get considerably louder (as punk bands often do), but there would always be some anarchism and Billy Bragg in the raucous braggadocio. The group's furious blend of politically charged punk, folk, and country anthems, along with their reputation of always being on the road, won them a devoted fan base, as well as a major-label record deal. ~ Johnny Loftus
Rolling Stone (p.90) - 4 stars out of 5 -- "Tempos are up half a notch, and Gabel's loudspeaker vocals go for clarion boldness."
Rolling Stone (p.108) - Included in Rolling Stone's "50 Top Albums of the Year 2007" -- "[T]hese Florida punks truly capitalize on the righteous anger they have long been known for..."
Spin (p.97) - 4.5 stars out of 5 -- "NEW WAVE stomps like big-budget radio rock , all swarming guitars and gang-vocal thrust..."
Entertainment Weekly (p.69) - "Against Me! has blossomed into a polished protest-rock band..." -- Grade: B
Alternative Press (p.159) - 4 stars out of 5 -- "[They] have focused themselves musically, providing a much tighter, rock-influenced record than the rest of their catalog. Replacement influences abound, with huge, anthemic, straight-ahead choruses..."
Kerrang (Magazine) (p.50) - "[I]t's uplifting, motivational, moving, agitating, honest, enthralling....It's also one of the greatest albums you will hear in 2007..."
Kerrang (Magazine) (p.72) - Ranked #19 in Kerrang's "The Top 20 Albums Of 2007" -- "Chock full of political and intellectual power."