“New Wave”

Against Me! – “New Wave” Sire Records B

In their major record label debut, punk group Against Me! turned the dials over to famed-producer Butch Vig, also from the band Garbage, creating a more rock-oriented album “New Wave.”

The title-track starts off in punk fashion, with a fast tempo guitar riff as drummer Warren Oakes pounds away while singer Tom Gabel’s Danzig-type voice shouts, “Come on and wash these shores away/ I am looking for the crest/ I am looking for the crest of a new wave.” “Up the Cuts” addresses an insomniac’s television observations as Gabel asks, “Are you restless like me?” “Thrash Unreal” is a kind of a more popish sounding tune while telling a story of a girl turned junkie. “White People for Peace” strays away from the pop and goes back to their political punk roots, sounding a bit like Manic Street Preachers. “Stop!” is a funky tune, and from the beginning strays itself from the pack, showing a bit more diversity from the band while Gabel repeats several times “Stop!/ Take some to think/ Figure out what’s important to you/ You’ve got to make a serious decision” in merry-go-round fashion. “Borne on the FM Waves of the Heart” is a duet with Tegan Quinn from the group Tegan and Sara, and covers the troubles of control in a long distance relationship. “Piss and Vinegar” challenges bands to “Say what you’re really thinking,” and travels back to their punk roots.

“The Ocean” is a more psychedelic, mysterious track and finally showcases the great range of Against Me! as Gabel expresses his thoughts on becoming a woman by the name of Laura.

“New Wave” is a solid effort by Against Me! and is definitely worthy of a spin or two. “The Ocean” and “Stop!” are the best tracks the album has to offer, making the audience wonder what direction they’ll head next.