Against Me! Is Reinventing Axl Rose
|Against Me! Is Reinventing Axl Rose|
|Studio album by Against Me!|
|Recorded||July 23, 2001
December 21 and 28, 2001
January 12, 2002
|Genre||Punk rock, folk punk|
|Label||No Idea (129)|
|Against Me! chronology|
Against Me! Is Reinventing Axl Rose is the debut album by the Gainesville, Florida punk rock band Against Me!, released in March 2002 by No Idea Records. It was the group's first release as a full band with electric guitars, bass guitar, and drums. The album was produced by Rob McGregor, who would also produce the band's second album Against Me! as the Eternal Cowboy (2003). The album's title references Guns N' Roses singer Axl Rose, illustrated on the cover.
Background and recording
Against Me! Is Reinventing Axl Rose was recorded in four sessions. Ten of the album's eleven songs were recorded on December 21 and 28, 2001 and January 12, 2002 at Goldentone Studios in Gainesville by Rob McGregor. "8 Full Hours of Sleep" came from an earlier recording session on July 23, 2001 on which Jordan Kleeman played the Moog synthesizer.
Five of the album's songs had previously been released on the band's EPs but were re-recorded for the album: "Walking Is Still Honest" had appeared on Against Me! (2000) and "I Still Love You Julie" had appeared on Crime as Forgiven By Against Me! (2001), both recorded when the band consisted of only singer/guitarist Laura Jane Grace and drummer Kevin Mahon. "Jordan's First Choice", "Those Anarcho Punks Are Mysterious...", and "Pints of Guinness Make You Strong" had appeared on Against Me! as acoustic versions recorded by Grace and bassist Dustin Fridkin. By the time of the album's recording Against Me! consisted of Grace, Fridkin, drummer Warren Oakes, and guitarist James Bowman, and the band re-recorded these five songs with full electric instrumentation.
Several guest singers provided backing vocals for "We Laugh at Danger (And Break All the Rules)" including Sam Jones, Todd "Bitchin'", Ryan and Patrick Quinney, Adam Volk, Rose O'Hara, and Jordan Kleeman. Sam Jones also sang backing vocals on "Pints of Guinness Make You Strong" and "Jordan's 1st Choice". "Baby, I'm an Anarchist!" dates back to one of Grace's previous bands:
"Baby, I'm an Anarchist!" was written by Tom Gabel [Grace], Cassidy Rist, and Rob Augman for a band that never happened, but was a really good idea. Although we played it live 2 or 3 times, it was never recorded. Cassidy was kind enough to come in and sing on this song; she was drunk. It was 11am.
Remarking on the album's themes in 2008, Grace said: "you get to an age where you get discouraged with dreams like [playing in a band] and you're told you're never going to be able to do anything like that, and you start to feel like there's a closed door, and when I started to feel that way, I went ahead and started doing my own thing. We made our own way and that was kind of just what the title of the album and a lot of the album was about, really, was just doing it yourself and not taking 'no' for an answer, and reclaiming your dreams."
Critic Corey Apar of Allmusic gave Against Me! Is Reinventing Axl Rose four and a half out of five stars, calling it "an impressive debut that manages to combine fist-in-the-air singalong choruses, lagered-up rhythms, and urgent drumbeats with the underground, raw intensity these punks are known for live" and "a true classic that brings listeners right into the dirty basements and dive bars that birthed the band — and serves as the foundation to where they would head next."
All songs written and composed by Laura Jane Grace except where noted.
|1.||"Pints of Guinness Make You Strong"||2:40|
|2.||"The Politics of Starving"||3:06|
|3.||"We Laugh at Danger (And Break All the Rules)"||3:17|
|4.||"I Still Love You Julie"||3:12|
|5.||"Scream It Until You're Coughing up Blood"||2:29|
|6.||"Jordan's 1st Choice"||2:08|
|7.||"Those Anarcho Punks Are Mysterious..."||2:24|
|8.||"Reinventing Axl Rose"||2:25|
|9.||"Baby, I'm an Anarchist!" (Grace, Cassidy Rist, Rob Augman)||2:40|
|10.||"Walking Is Still Honest"||2:37|
|11.||"8 Full Hours of Sleep"||4:00|
- Laura Jane Grace – guitar, lead vocals
- James Bowman – guitar, backing vocals
- Dustin Fridkin – bass guitar, backing vocals
- Warren Oakes – drums
- Sam Jones – backing vocals on "Pints of Guinness Make You Strong", "We Laugh at Danger (And Break All the Rules)", and "Jordan's 1st Choice"
- Todd "Bitchin'", Ryan and Patrick Quinney, Adam Volk, and Rose O'Hara – backing vocals on "We Laugh at Danger (And Break All the Rules)"
- Cassidy Rist – female vocals on "Baby, I'm an Anarchist!"
- Jordan Kleeman – backing vocals on "We Laugh at Danger (And Break All the Rules)", Moog synthesizer on "8 Full Hours of Sleep"
- Rob McGregor – audio engineer
- Laura Jane Grace, Jordan Kleeman, and Var Thelin – artwork concepts and layout