Against Me! - The Disco Before the Breakdown (Cover Artwork)

Against Me!

Against Me!: The Disco Before the BreakdownThe Disco Before the Breakdown (2002)
No Idea Records

Reviewer Rating: 4
User Rating:

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

Ah, the wonderful world of the EP/7". Sometimes forgettable, sometimes memorable, always short. "The Disco Before the Breakdown" was Against Me!'s only release between the legendary "...is Re-inventing Axl Rose" and hotly debated (and in this reviewer's mind, amazing) "...as the Eternal Cowbody".
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Ah, the wonderful world of the EP/7". Sometimes forgettable, sometimes memorable, always short.

"The Disco Before the Breakdown" was Against Me!'s only release between the legendary "...is Re-inventing Axl Rose" and hotly debated (and in this reviewer's mind, amazing) "...as the Eternal Cowbody" full lengths. It is the first release to feature the band with the complete line-up as it is now, and the first release by the band without any re-release of Tom Gabel's previous work with only occasional help. And it stands strong.

"Disco..." features three songs which are a solid addition to an undeniably talented band's discography. The title track (Side A) has a bit of a surprise, as horns help kick the song into second gear. While it is a strong track, regardless, the horns really take it to another level, and lend the song a very dancey feel. In typical Tom Gabel fashion, the song carries a strong political message in anecdotal format; many believe it to be a love song about two homosexuals:

I know they're going to laugh at us when they see us out together "holding hands" like this. They wouldn't understand it if we told them all the reasons, not that I think this deserves any kind of explanation... We'll keep this, keep us like a secret, because if my family and friends ever found out about the things we could never be, haunts we'll always keep, so fucking bittersweet..."
The flip side of the disc showcases two tracks. The first (or second, on CD) track, "Tonight, We're Gonna Give it 35%" is another full on rocker of a track, with a faster pace that would be further developed on "...Eternal Cowboy" but was still not a complete departure from "Axl Rose"'s more folky feel. The "Whooaooohs," which Against Me! has gotten down to a perfection, make sing along participation easy and fun. Lyrically, it is one of the more blatantly personal songs the band has recorded. To take a stab at it, it seems to be about getting rundown in the face of routine and the general jaded nature of many performers after they experience some sort of success...
"If this is the one chance that really matters, don't let me fuck this up. If you had told me all of this when I was fifteen, I never would have believed it."
The final song, in typical Against Me! fashion, is just Tom and his guitar, in what sounds like a bathroom, judging by the recording quality. The low (or high, depending on your tastes) caliber of the sound lends itself very well to the simple chords strummed on the guitar. At first, I have to admit, I skipped back to the other two tracks; but there is something buried in the album, an underlying passion that draws almost everyone I know who owns this release back to the end. The lyrics, again, focus on a relationship, apparently in some sort of transition, and like the preceding track, is more personal than most of the band's prior work.

All told, this is not the band's best release. It is not the best primer for anyone looking to check out one of the more hotly discussed up and coming groups in the underground. For that, you should spend the best 5 or 6 bucks you'll ever spend and check out plan-it-x's website and order the "Crime as forgiven by..." EP. It is, however, a very good, standalone EP that shows a band clearly trying to bridge the gap from where they were ("Axl Rose") to where they want to go ("Eternal Cowboy"). While it might not win over as many casual listeners as their other releases, it will definitely please fans of the band.


People who liked this also liked:
Against Me! - As The Eternal CowboyAgainst Me! - is Reinventing Axl RoseAgainst Me! - AcousticAgainst Me! - Searching For A Former ClarityThe Lawrence Arms - Oh! Calcutta!The Clash - London CallingNOFX - The DeclineAgainst Me! - Crime as Forgiven ByOperation Ivy - Operation IvyAgainst Me! - We're Never Going Home DVD

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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.
Wastedwolves (April 4, 2011)

Love this album

levi_kelly (January 16, 2011)

good record.

bradc (July 21, 2009)

These three songs are just so epic. I can still listen to them endlessly

butmickler (May 1, 2008)

this ep is the best by them

TommyPickles (March 20, 2008)

Out of all my 7inches this one has to be my all time favorite.

ABedForLiars (September 2, 2006)

My heart is anywhere but here.

PacePicante (March 25, 2006)

I fucking love Disco before the Breakdown song
It s so fucking awesome

Anonymous (December 2, 2005)

These are probably my three favorite Against Me! songs, no joke

Anonymous (June 3, 2004)

Although i feel weird answering the question posed directly below me, i think this person makes it clear they're not trying to be homophobic.

Andrew is married, James has a serious girlfriend, and Tom had a wife [although from what i've heard he's not exactly 'straight']. Warren i don't know about.

Anonymous (May 13, 2004)

So are the guys in Against Me gay or something?

Not trying to sound like a jerk, just curious.

Anonymous (February 1, 2004)

This, by far, is my favorite against me! recording. It is so emotional and powerful, that I can't help but love it. Tom's vocals are intense, and add so much feeling to the already heartfelt lyrics. I love this ep. The best 8 minutes of music ever. EVER!


Anonymous (January 9, 2004)

Not bad, but this band is way overrated.

Jwdanperci (January 5, 2004)

Anyone going to see these guys on the Death Tour...they're gunna fuckin rok

Anonymous (January 2, 2004)

how fucking good is this band. They are one of the best fucking bands ive ever heard

AmericanIdle (January 2, 2004)

I agree with anonymous, he's a great drummer.

Anonymous (January 1, 2004)

the against me drummer is really talented, IMO.

GreenVandal (January 1, 2004)

Hes your typical punk drummer really.

But the part in the first song on this where he just kinda stops the beat to bang on the snare drum really pisses me off everytime i get to it.

Anonymous (January 1, 2004)

Pshshhh this band is SO '03...


Anonymous (December 31, 2003)

to me, each against me! release is different from the others, and I have yet to be disappointed by them; this ep is so emotionally powerful, though, in a way that none of the others are (and a great deal of this is due to the production, as I see it)
one of the greatest bands alive
as for the gay thing, the words "holding hands" are in quotations in the lyrics printed for the ep, so that may indicate that they mean something else other than a homosexual relationship: I always read that part of the song as being about unity in resisitance or protest in the face of cynicism and ridicule (but hey, that's just me)

AmericanIdle (December 31, 2003)

"I think the drummer on this record sucks. His "fills" in the first song fucking kill all the momentum of the song."

It's the same drummer as on As The Eternal Cowboy and Is Reinventing Axl Rose. He's a rather good drummer, ya know.

GreenVandal (December 31, 2003)

I think the drummer on this record sucks. His "fills" in the first song fucking kill all the momentum of the song.

Still good though.

Anonymous (December 31, 2003)

this is the only against me record i own.. and i really do like it, i like the last song a lot, and the horns on the first one are rad. i dont know if i would buy one of thier cds, but this is one of my favorite 7"s

Anonymous (December 31, 2003)

"i think its cool to hear someone in the punk community talk about it who isn't gay themself."

how do you know he's not gay?

Anonymous (December 31, 2003)

the title of the album is...

Against Me! is Reinventing Axle Rose

for your information.

and Zing to the dude below.


Anonymous (December 31, 2003)

It's not about homosexuals it's about 2 Offspring fans

Anonymous (December 31, 2003)

really good review, the best one of against me! ive read so far...i like everything against me! has put out so this adds to it.....

Anonymous (December 30, 2003)

yeah this ep is really good.


Anonymous (December 30, 2003)

isnt the record just called "reinventing axl rose"? What is with this "is" shit, maybe I'm wrong.

boldredletters (December 30, 2003)

i never said in the review that it definitely was. although, in my opinion, its kind of obvious, and i think its cool to hear someone in the punk community talk about it who isn't gay themself.

AmericanIdle (December 30, 2003)

It is.

Anonymous (December 30, 2003)

yeah the guy below me is right, it COULD be a song about homosexuals. then again it might not be, who knows?

AmericanIdle (December 30, 2003)

"the comment about homosexuals is just ridiculous. who says that?"

Come on, dude, it's very obvious. Just listen to the lyrics.

Anonymous (December 30, 2003)

shitty review. the comment about homosexuals is just ridiculous. who says that?

good cd, well worth it.

Anonymous (December 30, 2003)

this is a great release

As The Eternal Cowboy is really good too...my only gripe about the new album is how short it is

25 minutes, come on! i hope the next one's longer

Anonymous (December 30, 2003)

Meh. Still, I'm willing to believe you bastards on the other albums, I'll still give them a shot

Anonymous (December 30, 2003)

Back when they used to be good, so very good.

Anonymous (December 30, 2003)

my favorite of their releases. then crime. then axl. and i still haven't heard the cowboy, though it seems like i should have with the name and all..

-el vaquero

Anonymous (December 30, 2003)

great review. i really need to pick this up, and all the acoustic ep.


Anonymous (December 30, 2003)

I think "Tonight We're Going to Give it 35%" is more about Tom deciding if he really wanted to sign with Fat or not. At that point the deal had already been proposed so I think it was really about him struggling with that. But then again, I didn't write the song so who knows.

Anonymous (December 30, 2003)

awsome reveiw, but i must say i think this shows the true nature of how am! sound. but i like this cd alot more then most people.

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