Sound — 10
Against Me, a band based out of Gainesville, Florida, launch their explosive third album. This album combines heavy rock, folk, blues, all encased in an awesome punk shell. Warren Oakes pounds hard on his drums while Andrew Seward plays his famously original basslines. James Bowman and Tom Gabel smash chords, borrowing style from tge early 80's punk scene as well as some rockabilly and folk. Tom Gabel's explosive vocals smash his genious lyrics into your head. The album both incorperates hard, political punk and slow ballads. The band can slow down and play beautiful melodies, for example, the titular song, "Searching For A Former Clarity," where Gabel sings about his struggle with drugs. All in all, the musicianship is amazing. I imagine some people would get tired of Gabel's growl by the end of the album, but that's a matter of taste.
Lyrics — 9
Gabel's powerful lyrics fuel this album, as their other albums. From politics to stories to just trashing modern culture, Against Me knows how to do it. There are really only two problems. In more than one case, the lyrics don't rhyme, though they find a way to make it sound the least awkward it can. As I stated above, some would also get tired of Gabel's yelling, especially in songs like "Miami." To compensate, the whole band often joins in and sings. Many songs are powered by the backup singers.
Overall Impression — 10
Against Me has created their own style of music. They may take roots from other styles, but they blend them together like no one else can. I love the total experience, the musicianship, and the vocal emsemble. I love every single song on it. It's by far one of the best albums of 2005. If I were to in any way lose this album or have it stolen, I would buy another one in a hearbeat. And I suggest you do, too.