Against Me! White Crosses

Against Me! White Crosses
In the second track on Against Me!'s fifth studio full-length, singer Tom Gabel acknowledges the departure his detractors have been bellyaching about since the band's last album, the mega-dollar produced, major label debut New Wave: "I was a teenage anarchist/but the politics were too convenient." It's one of many thoughtful, lucid moments on a record that's as full as ever of intelligent ruminations on life, politics and first-world problems. As Gabel further embraces humanity over ideology, as well as his desire to play stadiums over basements, songs like the aforementioned "I Was A Teenage Anarchist" and the almost painfully anthemic, Springsteen-loving "Because of the Shame" get more streamlined, in an infectious, if not a bit disposable, Gaslight Anthem vein, while the Psychedelic Furs-sounding "We're Breaking Up" is a perfect example of how "commercial" doesn't always suit the former anarcho-punks. Gabel pretty closely married his identity with this band, and fans did the same. As his identity shifts into a pretty typically less-rigid adult version of himself, Against Me! will continue to change with it and serve as a good gateway while still providing enough substance to keep people interested. (Sire)