Against Me! As the Eternal Cowboy

Clocking in at 25 minutes, Against Me! have mastered the art of saying what they want and getting the hell out. With a poetic sensibility not unlike the Weakerthans’ John K. Samson, Tom Gabel belts out his political anthems over a very Billy Bragg-inspired musical bed, all the while sounding so passionate and honest that you can’t help but sing along. Hailed by many as the saviours of punk rock, it’s not hard to see why the band has had such tremendous success following their debut full-length, the brilliant Reinventing Axl Rose. Making the move from No Idea to Fat Wreck, the band finds themselves with substantially "cleaner” production, though this in no way takes away from the gritty nature of the incredible songwriting. At times sounding like a punk rock version of Bruce Springsteen, it is easy to see why the sound of Against Me! has garnered them such acclaim. Accessible without being commercial, intelligent but without pretensions, As the Eternal Cowboy has all the makings of a classic punk rock record. (Fat Wreck)