Against Me!, "I Was a Teenage Anarchist"

63 Billboard Rating

"I Was a Teenage Anarchist" takes the modern-rock sound that Against Me! and producer Butch Vig developed on 2007 album "New Wave" and broadens it even further, adding a layer of gloss. Frontman Tom Gabel recalls anti-authority culture over bouncy, palm-muted guitars followed by a rallying-cry chorus: "Do you remember when you were young and wanted to set the world on fire?" It's as much a denouncement of Gabel's old ideology as it is a tale of youthful idealism pricked by the thorns of adulthood. After lamenting that "the politics are too convenient" and criticizing the movement's "mob mentality," he finally bellows the most damning statement of all: "The revolution was a lie." Gabel will undoubtedly catch flack from punk-rock purists who see his criticism of the counterculture as selling out, but by doing the opposite of what's expected of him, he now arguably embodies the punk spirit better than before. -Evan Lucy

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