Against Me! are playing in London this weekend at the Shepherd's Bush Empire with Gaslight Anthem. I am absolutely gutted and having a bit of a sulk because I can't make it as two of my good friends are getting married and invited me to share the most special day of their lives, how selfish of them! Because of this I have decided to compile a top ten of my all time favourite Against Me! songs.
10. TSR (This Shit Rules) from As The Eternal Cowboy
This song starts off really slowly with a simple guitar strum before then really getting going. It's about being at a gig with all your friends and realising that it's the best feeling in the world.
9. White People For Peace from New Wave
The album New Wave was Against Me!'s first adventure on a major record label and I have to admit I wasn’t expecting their first single to be so hard hitting. The message of White People For Peace is summed up perfectly in the chorus - "Protest Songs, In Response To Military Aggression, Protest Songs, Try To Stop The Soldiers Gun."
8. Don't Lose Touch from Searching For A Former Clarity
Don't Lose Touch is a reaction to fans accusing Against Me! of selling out by changing their sound over the years. Against Me! are known to be quite a polarising band within the punk community, I think that this song alone makes them one of the most punk rock bands around.
7. I Was A Teenage Anarchist from White Crosses
Teenage Anarchist is another of Against Me!'s major label efforts. This does have a more mainstream feeling to it with its crisp production and its constant hooks. It's about growing up as a punk and all the hardship that brought.
6. Because Of The Shame from White Crossses
Because Of The Shame is quite a sad and emotional song. Starting out with some piano and some big whoa-ohs the song then talks about the feelings you get when losing someone close to you. Feelings such as vulnerability, guilt and shame. This for me was one of the first times Against Me! wrote a real heart-on-your-sleeve punk anthem.
5. Walking Is Still Honest from Reinventing Axl Rose
I didn't really fall in love with Walking Is Still Honest until after seeing it performed live on the DVD that came with the New Wave CD. Something about the aggression in that performance really won me over and it has been a firm favourite since. The raw production on the whole of this album really makes it feel gritty and real, and helps you care about every word that is sung.
4. Sink, Florida, Sink from As The Eternal Cowboy
I first heard Sink, Florida, Sink on a Rock Against Bush compilation that Fat Wreck Chords released. Since then it has been one of my favourite songs to sing at the top of my lungs. Last year while waiting for Against Me! to play their encore at the Electric Ballroom the crowd started singing this song, remembering that amazing moment gives me goose bumps even now.
3. Cliché Guevara from As The Eternal Cowboy
From the start of this track I am filled with energy, it makes me want to sing, dance and generally just go crazy. This song is about using punk music for protests and revolutions. I love the lyrics "So Can Your Pop Sensibilities Sing Me The End Of The World? Turn Gunshots And Mortar Blasts Into A Metaphor Of How We Should All Be The Same”.
2. Reinventing Axl Rose from Reinventing Axl Rose
The title track from Reinventing Axl Rose is an anthem and a rule book for the modern day punk scene. It's about creating a scene where everyone is accepted, where the music is the most important thing and where everyone is looked after. It’s about creating a proper community through great, honest music. If I were to ever get lyrics tattooed on me I would choose the lines "Just Gimme A Scene Where The Music Is Free, And Beer Is Not The Life Of The Party".
1. We Laugh At Danger And Break All The Rules from Reinventing Axl Rose
Laugh At Danger is the song that really made me get what Against Me! are all about. It has everything I love in my punk rock; it's catchy and raw, it has plenty of highs and lows and some excellent gang vocals and most of all it fills me with energy. I'm currently banging my head (and making lots of typos) as I type this. For me, it's the perfect punk rock song.
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