Todd and I decided we wouldn’t form an opinion on this for a week. We played it at HQ every day, and did quite a bit of talking over it. I was impressed that they tackled the issues that they were going through as they were becoming a more successful band. That sounds awful when I read it, but here’s my thinking: there have been a lot of bands who start to become successful, get kind of freaked out about it, and don’t address it. Hot Water Music has been brought up along these lines a lot in our discussions. I think that for Against Me! to actually write about what they’re going through as far as growing pains, feeling compromised, and questioning themselves is highly commendable. The willingness to be that honest with what they’re going through, and to knowingly open themselves to what I’m assuming is going to be a lot of criticism takes a courage that most people just don’t have. For that, I’m really proud of them. At the beginning of the week, I wasn’t sure how I felt about the music. On the whole, it isn’t nearly as instantly catchy as their previous releases. They put “Problems” on there, which has been one of my favorite live songs for some time now, and “Condaleeza” kept getting stuck in my head. By the end of the week I liked it. I really liked it a lot. It grows on you a bit slower than the rest, but once it takes hold, there’s no shaking it. I know there’s going to be nay-sayers, but I, for one, still have my tent spikes planted firmly in the supportive camp.