Sorry if I sound like one of those embittered old-timer music snobs when talking about this stuff. I usually keep my mouth shut about it because, duh, it's what happens -- to music and the fans -- and who am I to spoil the kids' good time? That's why I don't have kids. I wouldn't want to be in a position where I'd have to tell my son that The Damned's Machine Gun Etiquette blows away his crappy NOFX record.
So, anyway, it's gotten to the point that leading-light punk band Against Me! sounds more like Journey than it does anything from the days of classic punk. Not that it matters. I just find it interesting. Like Journey, these guys know how to write a great hook.
On the Butch Vig-produced White Crosses, there's a little bit of Strummer's rabble-rousing ("White crosses on the church lawn / I want to smash them all") and a little bit of Springsteen's populist storytelling ("You left home for a fresh start / Working as a waitress down in Bradenton / With my name tattoo'd into your skin)." Every song is a sing-along arena-size anthem and most songs are really fist-pumpingly catchy.
I guess I could have a pretty good time with the pandering White Crosses if I'd just let myself. But I just turned 41. Haven't I earned the right to be an embittered old-timer music snob?
Best song: The title track.
Worst song: "I Was a Teenage Anarchist" (yes, it's 2010 and that's really a song title from this year).
Deja vu: A Walmart-ized Stiff Little Fingers.
I'd rather listen to: Titus Andronicus, the real deal. I hope they stay raw. Or maybe I'd rather listen to the best record Butch Vig ever produced: The Laughing Hyenas' Life of Crime.