Music

Against Me! - "Crash" (Singles Going Steady)

Against Me! has fun with power pop, stepping back a few decades with Kiss-style face paint and low-budget sci-fi references.

Adriane Pontecorvo: Against Me! has fun with power pop, stepping back a few decades with Kiss-style face paint and low-budget sci-fi references. Laura Jane Grace shouts the post-heartbreak lyrics of "Crash" with the aggressive energy of a teenage garage band. It's infectious, with a classic rock feel that Against Me! knows not to take too seriously. This is a song that doesn't need a twist to make its point; it's guaranteed to get a crowd jumping. [8/10]

Landon MacDonald: Punk is abrasive and aggressive, which is why I love it, but is also the reason it speaks to teenagers, each generation. It is not known for its poignancy but, Against Me! succeed on all three of those descriptors, especially with a line like “What happened to something that never was”. They aren’t asking a question per se, they are admitting to the inevitable difficulties of every relationship and rejoicing in the moments they seem to float above the stress. It also answers the greatest question punk doesn’t want to answer, “What happens when we grow up?” -- a crash landing. [7/10]

Andrew Paschal: Rowdy, light, and infectious, Laura Jane Grace's insistence that she's "not a crash landing" and her plea to "let me stay in your orbit awhile" provide the endearing sentiments upon which the song hinges. I didn't realize Against Me! was in my orbit in the first place, but now I'm certainly inclined to let them stay there for at least another moment. The spectral, dancing Sith Lord is easily the best and most lovable aspect of the music video. It clearly just wants to join in on the fun but lacks appropriate social skills and doesn't realize force-choking and electrocuting the band members is a faux pas; seeing it mercilessly slain by laser gun at the hands of drummer Atom Willard at the end of the video is accordingly the real tragedy of the song. [6/10]

Scott Zuppardo: The video makes be dizzy or it's just a tilt-a-whirl flashback from this past boardwalk weekend, either way I love this band and always will no matter what sex a lead singer, guitar player, champion songwriter, identifies as. They've been painstakingly playing punk gold for years and are in bantamweight shape at present. Sleek and shredded, fun to watch. Catchy yet cool as shit, heady on pop rock. [8/10]

Michael Pementel: There's no way around it: "Crash" is a hell of a fun song. It's a pretty straight-forward tune with nothing crazy vocally or instrumentally, but it is great rock 'n' roll. It makes for a solid sing-along song with Laura's soulful rock voice. [7/10]

Morgan Y. Evans: I am totally beyond down with Against Me! embracing their inner "Strutter" by Kiss and it is a full on blast after the heavy, if crucially important, catharsis of Transgender Dysphoria Blues (aka. the most important punk album of the decade thus far). "Crash" is not a vague reference to Dave Matthews or an overrated Oscar winning film that beat Brokeback Mountain ten years ago already. This is just the sound of a great band cutting loose and continuing to assert that they can be whoever they want. [7/10]

William Sutton: The California punk band have released a track that is effectively an '80s power pop ballad. On refection this may have always been a potential direction to take as the band have always had that big chorus in them, but "Crash" itself is cleaner than much of what they have released before. The result is good, harmless fun and the video that references Star Wars and KISS and is an enjoyable slice of retro low budget DIY videography. Maybe not one for their die hard fans but that chorus will still probably get stuck in your head whether you like it or not. [6/10]

Chris Ingalls: I don't know a single thing about this band, but if this song is any indication, I think they just gained a new fan. I love the early '80s retro feel. It sounds like some great little power-pop-punk gem you'd see on heavy rotation on MTV back in 1982 when the music channel was playing anything and everything they could get their hands on. Great hooks and melodies that sound like a happy collision between the Cars, Split Enz and Joan Jett. I'm picturing listening to this on the crappy tape deck of some old Datsun. [8/10]

SCORE: 7.13

Over the Rainbow: An Interview With Herb Alpert

Music legend Herb Alpert discusses his new album, Over the Rainbow, maintaining his artistic drive, and his place in music history. "If we tried to start A&M in today's environment, we'd have no chance. I don't know if I'd get a start as a trumpet player. But I keep doing this because I'm having fun."

Jedd Beaudoin
Music

The Cigarette: A Political History (By the Book)

Sarah Milov's The Cigarette restores politics to its rightful place in the tale of tobacco's rise and fall, illustrating America's continuing battles over corporate influence, individual responsibility, collective choice, and the scope of governmental power. Enjoy this excerpt from Chapter 5. "Inventing the Nonsmoker".

Sarah Milov
Books
Pop Ten
Mixed Media
PM Picks

© 1999-2018 Popmatters.com. All rights reserved.
Popmatters is wholly independently owned and operated.