Against Me!, "White Crosses"

Mostly known for delivering folk-punk anthems, Against Me! delivers a no-fuss rock collection with its latest release, "White Crosses." The single "I Was a Teenage Anarchist" drives the final nail into the group's punk-rock coffin--the chorus is suited for an arena singalong and the lyric "The revolution was a lie!" contradicts singer Tom Gabel's previous cry of "Baby, I'm an Anarchist!" from the band's 2002 album, "Reinventing Axl Rose." The track "Ache With Me" relies on acoustic guitar, but it lacks the raw energy that Against Me! displayed during its early years of playing acoustic basement shows. And standouts "Spanish Moss" and "Rapid Decompression" are clear-cut rock anthems. The former combines full bass, dynamic guitar riffs and lyrics about making a better life, while the latter rips through gang vocals and the occasional rockabilly-influenced lick. As further proof that Gabel has learned to manage his former-anarchist anger, album closer "Bamboo Bones" finds Against Me! polishing its sound and the singer at his most insightful ("What God doesn't give to you/You have to go and get for yourself"). --Lindsey Fortier

- Album Review