Against Me! | Critic's Choice | Chicago Reader

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Against Me!

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True to their confrontational name, the guys in Against Me! keep a pretty epic shit list. On their latest album, last year's Searching for a Former Clarity (Fat Wreck Chords), front man Tom Gabel weighs in on, among other things, the record industry, Yahoo's terms of service, the capriciousness of the punk scene, and the whole fucking city of Miami. His keenest outrage is reserved for the Bush administration, which he tears into like a good punker should, but Gabel's lyrics and delivery have a subtlety and wit that more didactic agitpop singers lack. "From Her Lips to God's Ears (The Energizer)" starts with a pair of unpoetic lines--"Regime change under a Bush doctrine / Democratic installations"--but unfolds into a plea to Condoleezza Rice's conscience that sounds less like Minor Threat and more like a letter to an estranged lover. Gabel morphed Against Me! from a folk-punk solo act to a full-on electric outfit on 2002's Reinventing Axl Rose, which got his fans accusing him of selling out, and he hasn't stopped fucking with them since. Searching for a Former Clarity is mostly built around a framework of dirty, lunging folk, but it spreads out to include outlaw country (a few songs suggest what Hot Water Music would've sounded like if they ever dropped the country record they had in them) and four-on-the-floor drumming; "Unprotected Sex With Multiple Partners" will probably age better than most of the disco-beat songs from the past few years. Their latest salvos against those pissed-off doctrinaire punk kids: cracking the Billboard album chart and signing with Sire Records. See also Wednesday and Thursday. The Alkaline Trio headlines. Tue 5/2, 7 PM, Metro, 3730 N. Clark, 773-549-0203 or 312-559-1212, sold out. All ages.

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