Against Me! as the Eternal Cowboy
|Against Me! as the Eternal Cowboy|
|Studio album by Against Me!|
|Released||November 3, 2003|
|Recorded||July 15, 2003 at Goldentone Studios in Gainesville, Florida
August 2003 at Ardent Studios in Memphis, Tennessee
|Label||Fat Wreck Chords|
|Against Me! chronology|
|Singles from Against Me! as the Eternal Cowboy|
Against Me! as the Eternal Cowboy is the second album by the Gainesville, Florida punk rock band Against Me!, released on November 3, 2003 by Fat Wreck Chords. It was the group's first release for the label and their first album with bassist Andrew Seward, who had replaced original bassist Dustin Fridkin the previous year. The album was produced by Rob McGregor, who had also produced their first album Against Me! Is Reinventing Axl Rose (2002). Two singles were released in support of the album, "Cavalier Eternal" and "Sink, Florida, Sink", though each features different versions of the songs than those found on the album. As the Eternal Cowboy was Against Me!'s first album to reach the Billboard charts, reaching #36 on Top Independent Albums.
In 2009 Fat Wreck Chords released The Original Cowboy, a demo recording that the band had done in preparation for recording the album.
Background and recording
Against Me! announced plans to record the album in July 2003, stating that they would work with producer Rob McGregor, who had recorded their first album and two previous EPs, and that the album would be released November 4. The band planned to record at Ardent Studios in Memphis, Tennessee, where they could make an all-analog recording with very few overdubs. In order to ensure that McGregor would be familiar with the new songs by the time they went to Memphis, the band recorded demos for the entire album at his Goldentone Studios in their hometown of Gainesville, Florida on July 15 in the span of a few hours. The rest of the album was recorded that August at Ardent. The version of "Cavalier Eternal" from the July 15 Goldentone session was used on the album, as Fat Wreck Chords head Fat Mike preferred it to the version recorded at Ardent. The entire Goldentone demo session was released in 2009 by Fat Wreck Chords as The Original Cowboy.
Against Me! as the Eternal Cowboy was mixed and engineered by Pete Matthews and assistant engineer Adam Hill, and was mastered by Brad Blackwood at Euphonic Masters. Singer/guitarist Laura Jane Grace designed the album's artwork and layout, using photographs taken by Brian K. Wynacht.
The album's title and track listing were announced in September 2003, followed by news that the band's previous label No Idea Records would release the singles for "Cavalier Eternal" and "Sink, Florida, Sink", using alternate versions of the songs from the recording sessions, including the version of "Cavalier Eternal" recorded at Ardent.
Grace described the record in 2003 as a concept album "that explores love and war", explaining an ambiguity with regards to the album's title's reference to its songs: an Eternal Cowboy can be "symbolic of the power structure" or of "someone forever wandering, lost and alone".
Critic Charles Spano of Allmusic gave Against Me! as the Eternal Cowboy four stars out of five, remarking that "The Gainesville, FL, outfit may have embraced a slightly slicker production than with its fan favorite, Reinventing Axl Rose, but no matter how you stack it, As the Eternal Cowboy is an accomplished record of country-folk-punk that would only qualify as over-polished by the most hard-lined, anti-bar code punk kids' criteria." He also called it "one of the few early-2000s punk albums that transcends its genre and has the rock & roll clout to storm the mainstream." Nick Greer of Sputnikmusic also scored the album four out of five, noting that "This CD is the first in their discography to include a more rock feel to the music. The drumming is slower, the background vocals less prominent, the singing less gruff and less like screaming. Some songs are riff-based instead of chord progression-based, which utterly betrays punk and folk alike for rock and roll. This change, an obvious turnoff for original fans, isn't terrible."
|1.||"T.S.R. (This Shit Rules)"||1:35|
|3.||"Mutiny on the Electronic Bay"||1:12|
|4.||"Sink, Florida, Sink"||2:40|
|5.||"Slurring the Rhythms"||2:42|
|6.||"Rice and Bread"||1:42|
|7.||"A Brief Yet Triumphant Intermission"||1:29|
|8.||"Unsubstantiated Rumors Are Good Enough for Me to Base My Life Upon"||1:40|
|9.||"You Look Like I Need a Drink"||2:14|
|10.||"Turn Those Clapping Hands Into Angry Balled Fists"||4:46|
- Laura Jane Grace – guitar, lead vocals, art concepts and layout
- James Bowman – guitar, backing vocals
- Andrew Seward – bass guitar, backing vocals
- Warren Oakes – drums
- Rob McGregor – producer
- Pete Matthews – mixing engineer, engineer
- Adam Hill – assistant engineer
- Brad Blackwoon – mastering
- Brian K. Wynacht – photography
|Top Independent Albums||36|
The Original Cowboy
|The Original Cowboy|
|Demo album by Against Me!|
|Released||July 7, 2009|
|Recorded||July 15, 2003 at Goldentone Studios in Gainesville, Florida|
|Label||Fat Wreck Chords|
|Against Me! chronology|
On July 7, 2009 Fat Wreck Chords released the entire July 15, 2003 demo session for Against Me! as the Eternal Cowboy under the title The Original Cowboy. The recordings were mastered in 2009 by Emily Lazar and Joe LaPorta at The Lodge. Reflecting on the session, Grace remarked that "The Original Cowboy was only meant to be a trial run, but, listening to it today, there's a part of me that feels foolish for ever recording these songs a second time." The label posted an MP3 of the demo version of "Unsubstantiated Rumors (Are Good Enough for Me to Base My Life On)" for free download prior to the album's release.
Corey Apar of Allmusic gave The Original Cowboy only two and a half stars out of five, calling it "one of those records that forces an important question — why was this released?", noting that the songs "basically sound the same" as on the original album, whereas "usually when demos surface, they're noticeably different than the finished songs — stripped down melodies on acoustic guitar, choruses missing harmonies, some of the lyrics might even be different. Yet 'Unsubstantiated Rumors' is the only song here with significant changes". He also criticized the lack of any extra material such as B-sides or live tracks.
|1.||"A Brief Yet Triumphant Introduction / Cliché Guevarra"||3:40|
|2.||"Mutiny on the Electronic Bay"||1:13|
|4.||"Rice and Bread"||1:39|
|6.||"Unsubstantiated Rumors (Are Good Enough for Me to Base My Life On)"||1:29|
|7.||"Slurring the Rhythms"||2:41|
|8.||"You Look Like I Need a Drink / Turn Those Clapping Hands Into Angry Balled Fists"||7:02|
- "Against Me! Recording Plans". Punknews.org. 2003-07-08. Retrieved 2009-09-07.
- "Against Me! to release The Original Cowboy on Fat this summer". Punknews.org. 2009-04-23. Retrieved 2009-09-07.
- Against Me! as the Eternal Cowboy (CD). San Francisco: Fat Wreck Chords. 2003. 667-2.
- Gabel, Tom (2009-04-23). "The Original Cowboy!". againstme.net. Against Me!. Retrieved 2009-09-10. "At the insistence of Fat Mike, the song 'Cavalier Eternal' from the 7/15/03 session did end up making it onto As The Eternal Cowboy, Mike preferring the demo to the version made at Ardent."[dead link]
- "Against Me! album cover and tracklisting". Punknews.org. 2003-09-23. Retrieved 2009-09-07.
- "Two new Against Me! 7"s". Punknews.org. 2003-10-12. Retrieved 2009-09-07.
- Spano, Charles. "Review:Against Me! as the Eternal Cowboy". Allmusic. Retrieved 2009-09-07.
- Greer, Nick (2005-09-05). "Review:Against Me! as the Eternal Cowboy". Sputnikmusic. Retrieved 2009-09-07.
- "Against Me! Album & Song Chart History: Top Alternative Albums". Billboard charts. Retrieved 2009-09-07.
- Apar, Corey. "Review: The Original Cowboy". Allmusic. Retrieved 2009-09-07.
- The Original Cowboy (CD). San Francisco: Fat Wreck Chords. 2009. 743-2.
- "Media: Against Me!: "Unsubstantiated Rumors" (Original Cowboy version)". 2009-06-25. Retrieved 2009-09-07.