Monday, 25 July 2011

10 Great Against Me! Songs

This is the first blog of it's kind here at Voiddrops. I'm all about trail blazing, much like the band featured in this list. Against Me! is a quartet from Gainesville, Florida, specializing in an unique brand of punk music, yet never limiting themselves to just that label. I discovered Against Me! in 2004 and they've quickly become one of my favourite groups. Here's a selection of 10 of their great songs!

1. "Bamboo Bones"

The last track on 2010's White Crosses is a never-give up, do or die anthem. It's chorus latched on to my brain and I found myself singing it out loud throughout my work days. "Bamboo Bones" is a great song to scream out loud during Against Me!'s live shows, which, with such relentless energy and fury, is how they gained such a loyal following in the first place.

2. "We Laugh At Danger & Break All The Rules"

Against Me! were one of the first bands I knew to have long song titles that weren't incorporated somewhere in the lyrics. This song is a favourite at live shows and begs to feature the audience on backing vocals. Front man Tom Gabel notoriously seldomly reveals what his songs are about. The general consensus about this one is his love for music and is a love song for his guitar...some of the lyrics make me question that.

3. "Up The Cuts"

2007's New Wave is a remarkable album, it was dubbed their breakthrough and was their first release on a major record label, which makes the 2nd track "Up The Cuts" kind of purposefully ironic. It's a dig at the stagnant music industry and the diminishing uniqueness and talent in modern recording artists in favour of style and image.

4. "You Look Like I Need A Drink"

This one started my love affair with the band. My friend in Vancouver who had just seen them live suggested I check them out, figuring they'd be something I would dig. This was the first song I absorbed and I immediately jizzed all over myself. I picked up the record As The Eternal Cowboy and I still believe it to be their best. Now as a standing order I buy every Against Me! album, without needing to hear a song from it first. I can trust it to be great.

5. "Searching For A Former Clarity"

From the album of the same name, this is one of those Against Me! songs that truly showcase's Gabel's exquisite song crafting abilities. A slow, sombre and at times silent introspective  about a young man at the end of his life, and the terms he comes to grip with.

6. "Borne On The FM Waves Of The Heart"

Featuring Canada's Tegan Quinn of Tegan & Sara, this one is a relationship tale sung by both parties involved. I love the build up in this one, much like a real relationship discussion. Starts out innocent enough, but without grip it can explode into something else entirely

7. "T.S.R"

Standing for This Shit Rules, the kick off track on ..Cowboy is a quick, to the point, punk jam. It features one of my all time favourite song lyrics "If these are my friends and this is my home and this is how I spend my nights. How I communicate and demonstrate a love of life..."

8. "Walking Is Still Honest"

A classic. Not much needs to be said about this one. Just Against Me! at their best.

9. "How Low"

Before it's release in 2005 several of it's track were leaked on the internet, since whoever leaked them didn't know their intended names they used the stand out words in the lyrics as such, "How Low" was one of those tracks. It's a moody song about Gabel's attempt to give up drugs. Clarity had some great confessional lyrics on it and they are exemplified superbly here.

10. "Because Of The Shame"

End on one my favourite AM tunes. Kind of a sobering story behind it as well. One of Tom's old friends was murdered after moving away several years ago. At the funeral her mom told Tom that she was upset because she thought his song "Thrash Unreal" was a jab at her and that Tom owed her a song. This was that song. The similarity to Springsteen's "No Surrender" was deliberate as he was one of his friend's favourite artists.

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