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I Against I - Headcleaner (Cover Artwork)

I Against I

I Against I: HeadcleanerHeadcleaner (1998)
Epitaph Records

Reviewer Rating: 4.5
User Rating:


Contributed by: soulbleedsoulbleed
(others by this writer | submit your own)

I Against I's name may bear resemblance to the almighty Bad Brains, but all comparisons stop right there. Their music is nothing like the gut-wrenching 80's hardcore of Washington DC's most influential punk band (aside from Minor Threat); in fact, it's more of a hybrid of Strung Out, Face to Face, B.
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I Against I's name may bear resemblance to the almighty Bad Brains, but all comparisons stop right there. Their music is nothing like the gut-wrenching 80's hardcore of Washington DC's most influential punk band (aside from Minor Threat); in fact, it's more of a hybrid of Strung Out, Face to Face, Bad Religion and Social Distortion - in a really odd way. Before all my critics jump on that last comment - hear me out.

Nearly every song on "Headcleaner," is a classic - the songs contain intricate harmonies but don't seem short of hard-hitting punk riffs: songs like "Maybe Tomorrow" and "Ordinary Fight" attract even the most skeptical punk rocker, while songs like "Top of the World" (my personal favorite) seem quite content with focusing on the more emotional side.

"Nailed to the Floor" sounds like it could fit easily on Bad Religion's 1993 classic "Recipe For Hate," but don't be quick to knock the band for plagarism: they've added quite a few levels of quality on top of the copyrighted Bad Religion style. Not only does it slightly deviate from the verse-chorus-verse structure that Brett is so familiar with, but it's much more fun to listen to. I Against I have a unique feel to them because of that - not only are their songs extremely entertaining, but they're short on the dick-and-fart humor of bands like Lagwagon and most of the other punk bands, especially on Fat Wreck. Because of this, the album never loses momentum or it's staying power in your stereo - if you're one of the few to actually own it.

This band is probably the most cursed band on Epitaph's label. Out of their 2 full-length albums, only 1 has really seen the light of day (and that is this one), but even this barely received any of the treatment most of Epitaph's artists were getting at the time. Very few compilations sported their tracks (outside of the Punk-O-Rama 3 compilation, which featured "Ordinary Fight") and I'm pretty sure they were only on Warped Tour once (another rarity), and they weren't even on a featured stage when they were (if I'm wrong, let it go - it's possible). Regardless of whether or not the aforementioned has truth to it, the band was under-promoted, without a doubt; the fact that their second album "I'm A Fucked Up Dancer But My Moods Are Swinging," never saw the light of day outside of Europe (even though it was carried by Epitaph America .. weird) just pissed me off - it pretty much killed the band's chances of establishing themselves as mainstays in the ever-changing punk rock scene. The record was as phenomenal as this one, and I plan on reviewing it shortly, for those who care.

But alas, I am done griping, at least for now! Bwahaha. Anyhow, I figured I would share some insight with all you kids about this amazing band. If you haven't checked them out, make sure you pick up this lovely punk record (I'm pretty sure it's still in print), and if you see one of their other releases, (I believe they released a 3rd album in 2000 called "Space Odyssey", but I have yet to hear it, again thanks to Epitaph's lovely commitment to their artist. (HINT: Since you're reading this, stop signing bands like Matchbook Romance and trying to jump on the overloaded Emocore boat and stick to what works!)

If I get a decent response to this approach at reviewing, I might continue doing it this way - but if not, I'll go back to my trademark insults and angry suburban point of views, and possibly make fun of Canada some more! Har Har.

 

 
People who liked this also liked:
Ignite - A Place Called HomeALL - Mass NerderNOFX - The DeclineIgnite - Call On My BrothersGood Riddance - Operation PhoenixSick of it All - Call to ArmsRise Against - Revolutions Per MinuteNOFX - Punk In DrublicThe Lawrence Arms - Oh! Calcutta!Skankin' Pickle - The Green Album

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Fine Print: The following comments are owned by whoever posted them. We are not respon sible for them in any way. Seriously.
mexii (April 6, 2007)

this cd fuckin rocks i cant belive i found u guys i forgot your name for like a year finally i found u again. Now i have to try and get this cd somehow if u can help that would be great.

Anonymous (May 21, 2003)

These guys happen to be close friends of mine. They're still around, ,and they're even working on a new record right now (btw space oddysse is not album #3, that was just a single). Anyway, for some more info check their website; www.iagainsti.nl

krowdsurf (May 20, 2003)

I bought this album years ago, liked it a lot at the time, and then always wondered what the fuck happend to them. Periodically I'd check the "I Against I" slot at Tower Records(since it's the only place I've found that has one) and always see the same damn album. I'd just given up and assume they broke up. Thanks for the update.

Anonymous (May 20, 2003)

The play on Lagwgon was weak, very weak.

-bemused-

Anonymous (May 19, 2003)

I Against I actually had several Tracks on "Street Sk8er" a Playstation game which also featured Less Than Jake, Pietaster and H2O they had about 3-4 songs (maybe tomorrow and ordinary fight for sure...) And I loved the band ever since I actually got an emusic account just to get their records. they were also featured on the european POR 4 or something I believe. but I mean the best epitaph bands. DFL, Total Chaos, and I against I are always shawdowed by what Pennywise or Rancid is doing. I mean lets face it they sold well.and I against I didnt. But I think the coverage on Street Sk8er was sufficent I mean Epitaph could have licensed out Pennywise Rancid or hell even Bad Religion music to the game company but chose to include I against I so I dont know and Warped tour in 1997-8 is not what Warped tour is today. But nevertheless I against I rules. Love to finally see a review of one of my favorite bands that always seemed "unknown" and the music rocks. sometimes though it reminds me of old Green Day when I was listening to it all the way through I did stop to wonder if I didnt have my Kerplunk record spinning. but other than that I guess Im through and Fuck anti-flag.

FortyMinutesWest (May 18, 2003)

Grammatically correct, eh? You mean like capitalizing the first letters of sentences?

Anonymous (May 17, 2003)

when you insult someone, you should be grammatically correct .. mr 'voided' .. heh, you make yourself look even more like a dumbass than the reviewer. plus, lagwagon is a humorous, immature band anyhow .. they even talk about it in interviews. so ... uh, like you said, know your shit before you speak.

Anonymous (May 17, 2003)

your opinion became voided when you called lagwagon a humour band. before you talk, think and know what the fuck you are talking about.

punky (May 17, 2003)

"dick-and-fart humor of bands like Lagwagon and most of the other punk bands, especially on Fat Wreck"

You are thinking of guttermouth, the vandals and blink...

Anonymous (May 17, 2003)

I think soulbleed overrated this album. It works for about 3 days, and then you realize how shallow the music and lyrics alike are. I bought it about 3 years ago and I haven't heard it in about 3 years.

Anonymous (May 16, 2003)

i'll take bad brains by a hair over minor threat just b/c they basically started hardcore.

REALPUNX4LIFE (May 16, 2003)

"Washington DC's most influential punk band (aside from Minor Threat)" DEBATE!

Anonymous (May 16, 2003)

Good band, this reminded me of their kick ass POR 3 song.

Anonymous (May 16, 2003)

yup, a very never promoted band. one of the stranger things about this record is how very pessimistic and dark the lyrics are for this type of band, and without having to go to bad cliches (alchohol, girls, whatever). Its just a depressing album....in a good way.

there 2nd record was miles from there melodic punk sound on this one, but it was still good.
wyzo

Anonymous (May 16, 2003)

This is a wicked band. There music is extremely hard to find but it's so fuckin good. This band may be the most underrated band ever

TheOneTrueBill (May 16, 2003)

That POR3 song was pretty cool. i'd like to hear more

Anonymous (May 16, 2003)

Street Sk8er!! hahaha

TahoeJeff (May 16, 2003)

This cd is great. By far their best work. They have a couple of eps on epitaph europe. On eof em has a beatles cover..I wanna hold your hand. Its pretty good. Its probably a good thing that "I'm a fucked up dancer" didnt really "see the light of the day". Their sound really changed alot from the first album. They kind of experimented and threw in some electronic sounds. It still hasnt really grown on me. I think you can download some new stuff from them on their webpage. Needles is a good song. It sounds more like headcleaner. I'd really like to hear some more from these guys. They have a split with some italian band called Mad Bones, but good luck finding that. Its on some tiny Italian indy label and I cant find anywhere to order it. Anyway..if you want to order "I'm a fucked up dancer" you can go to amazon.co.uk They'll ship to the US and it isnt too expensive.

fakesmile (May 16, 2003)

their official site is http://www.iagainsti.nl/
live mp3s, a demo etc...

anyway... they're from the netherlands (like me) and they're pretty good! this album is great!

Anonymous (May 16, 2003)

I just pulled this CD back out of my stack of ignored CDs last week. Good, but nothing special. It's very average, but in a good way. No bad songs, no awesome songs.

FortyMinutesWest (May 16, 2003)

I bought this CD when it came out, it's decent and somewhat catchy, but not all that great.

Bryne (May 16, 2003)

I liked their song on POR 3. That is all.

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