Against Me!, known for their constant touring and use of an exclamation point, highlight both these aspects on their new live record, which contains tracks from As The Eternal Cowboy, Reinventing Axl Rose and Searching For A Former Clarity. The record also features an unreleased song, “Americans Abroad,” which is dead on about the fear of being a stupid American in a foreign country.
There are some weak spots on the record, though, such as the overdone clapping and cheering in between each song, which could easily have been mixed out. We get it, their fans like them and are excited.
Also, Against Me!’s turn away from extreme political views to mainstream bitching is a little sad. When they play “From Her Lips To God’s Ears (The Energizer),” and whine Condaleezza’s name a few dozen times, you know that whoever is seeing them in concert or sitting at home is making a face and singing in a mocking tone or just pressing skip. Against Me! used to be a Molotov Cocktail, but now they’ve put themselves in the same league as The Dixie Chicks.
But don’t get too sad, the record has many more good points than bad. They play a long set, which gives them time to play many of their best songs really well, including a great version of “Pints Of Guinness Make You Strong.” For the cover art, they turn away from their usual black, white and sometimes red touched up photograph and instead have a crazy ink drawing of the band done by Steak Mtn. And who couldn’t love them? A punk band whose members don’t dress like they’re wearing a uniform? I’m in.
What Does All This Mean? Any Against Me! fan will love it.