Doustlessly no other album in the past let's say five years touched me as much as „reinventing axl rose“ by Against Me!. I really love every fucking song on it and so everything this band was to release later on would have a quite hard stance. Maybe it is like the Beatles would have released their white album as a debut... Whatever, I got along with „as the eternal cowboy“ and I love about have the record. It's still a damn good piece of music but now I am faced with „searching for a former clarity“, their latest strike and to be honest: at first I was disappointed and even a bit angry. The sound is so thick, so fat. In the glory days they'd have called it overproduced and „what the hell has that guy to his voice?“ I thought. It sounds like too much whiskey and too little beer... And the songs somehow don't sound like the classical Against Me!-style I love so dear, so midtempo, so not head over heels...
But the longer the record spins the more classical the songs get, still the focus is in the midtempo range but the voice voice becomes less deep and less rough, more and more wohohos and singalong come along and everything turns out to be right. After having listend to it quite a few times, I must say this shit rules, even the first songs that I didn't like at first. They widened their songwriting range. This record has more to over than the oldschool-we all have beards-Gainsville-style. The opener „miami“ is like the ideal tune for a pirates' feast aver having raided a couple of ships and in the middle there are some very calm but intense country influenced songs. „problems“ and „don't lose touch“ are serious floorfillers in your local nonexisting but so cool if it would punkrock disco. The very end of the last song, the titletrack, is harsh. It simply stops and suddenly you know that the past three quarters of an hour you were surounded by so beautiful noises.
What the record is lacking is the spontaneity, the just do it mentality of thir debut. But i guess that's just the way the world goes. You can't expect a band to tour the world and the seven seas and not become somehow clarified. But as long as the songs are good and the band is nice it is pretty much okay if they turned into musicians that really control their instruments, I guess;) [jan]