Sire Records; July 2007
After touring in support of 2005’s Searching for a Former Clarity, Against Me! frontman Tom Gabel wanted to escape the cynicism that surrounded the album and his time on the road. Enter New Wave, the band’s major-label debut, which in the first song declares: “We can be the bands we want to hear/We can define our own generation.” This energized, optimistic approach continues throughout the album. Gabel’s voice is still powerfully gravelly and compelling, but the overall sound is fuller, more polished, and-dare I say it?-more approachable; he even snuck in some Ben Gibbard-style “ba-ba-ba-ing” in the chorus of the radio-friendly “Thrash Unreal.” Although New Wave takes Against Me! away from its punk folk roots and into the realm of pop rock, it maintains the enthusiasm we have come to expect from Gabel and his crew.