AGAINST ME!: Reinventing Axl Rose: CD

From the opening riff, when the ghosts of “Folsom Prison Blues” segue into a mid-tempo hardcore songs, it’s clear that this is not an ordinary album. Comparisons are hard to make. Sure, there are elements of folk guitar, but this is no Pogues rip-off. Sure, you can tell the singer has spent years singing along with Fugazi, but this is no emo record. Sure, the Clash drips off the edges of this CD, but that’s not what defines these songs. No matter what point of reference I try to launch from to describe this album – from “a hillbilly Husker Du” to “the black bloc throwing bricks through a Replacements record” – it all seems to fall short. And that’s a good thing. Considering how much new music I listen to, I’m amazed that I can hear something that’s this original and that’s this good. The songs are all well-written with thoughtful lyrics, catchy hooks, vocals that are tuneful even when the singer’s voice is ripped through to the chords, and a really happy guitar and a bouncing rhythm section backs it all up. I guess the best way to describe this album is this: these are the campfire songs I want to sing while the society around me burns itself to the ground.

 –sean (No Idea)