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Against Me! is a punk band formed in Naples, Florida, later relocated to Gainesville, Florida. Their early work was marked by a commitment to anarchist ideals and community empowerment, including critiques of some of the fascist tendencies in punk communities (such as the song Those Anarcho Punks Are Mysterious…). Since their work with major labels and producers, some fans have accused them of becoming too mainstream and abandoning these ideals. Their music has also changed somewhat to punk-influenced rock from earlier folk-influenced punk.
Their first full-length album, released on No Idea Records, was Reinventing Axl Rose. They have also released music on Plan It X Records, Sabot Productions and most recently, Fat Wreck Chords. In December of 2006, they signed to Sire Records, and are scheduled to release a debut there in 2007.
Tom Gabel started the band as a solo act with vocals and acoustic guitar, occasionally with backup from drummers or bassists. This period in the band was marked by playing a guerrilla show in a college apartment complex laundromat, emphasizing the folk-punk aspect of their work. He put out one demo tape by himself, entitled "Against Me!". Another was released out the following year, with a slightly more complete band, Vivida Vis. A six-song EP was released on Plan It X Records, Crime, As Forgiven By Against Me!.
After Crime, a six-song, untitled acoustic EP (now unofficially referred to as The Acoustic EP) was released. It contains no electric guitar or drums; only acoustic guitar and bass. It is one of the band's definitive releases.
Albums and Mainstream Work
Reinventing Axl Rose was the band's first full-length album. This album was a shift because of the addition of electric guitars, and a full band. There is a much more recognizable mainstream rock sound, but still a large folk influence, particularly in songs like the Irish-influenced Pints of Guinness Make You Strong and the ballad Baby, I'm an Anarchist.
Their second full-length album, As The Eternal Cowboy, was released on Fat Wreck Chords. Some fans accused the band of being sell-outs, abandoning their earlier anarchist and anti-capitalist principles to sign with a mainstream label. The album itself showed another move away from their roots towards a more rock sound. Gabel himself describe the album as sounding "more punk."
Their latest album, Searching For A Former Clarity was released on Sept. 6, 2005. It broke them into the mainstream, debuting at number 114 on the Billboard charts. The band released a music video for their first single, Don't Lose Touch, specifically for MySpace.
Against Me! released their first live album, Americans Abroad!!! Against Me!!! Live in London!!!, on Aug. 22, 2006. The album was recorded at the Mean Fiddler in London, England, features one previously unreleased song named Americans Abroad, and is distributed by Fat Wreck Chords.
Against Me!'s major label debut with Sire (Entitled "New Wave") will be out on Spring 07 and it's being produced by Butch Vig (producer for Nevermind).
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