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Against Me! - Americans Abroad!!! Against Me!!! Live in London!!! (Cover Artwork)

Against Me!

Against Me!: Americans Abroad!!! Against Me!!! Live in London!!!Americans Abroad!!! Against Me!!! Live in London!!! (2006)
Fat Wreck Chords

Reviewer Rating: 3.5
User Rating:


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

There's something special about an Against Me! show. They've managed to make every night I've seen them, the only night of my life that matters -- and hey, I've lost my virginity! Those who have seen their excellent DVD, We're Never Going Home, can also lay testament to the passion and excitement th.
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There's something special about an Against Me! show. They've managed to make every night I've seen them, the only night of my life that matters -- and hey, I've lost my virginity! Those who have seen their excellent DVD, We're Never Going Home, can also lay testament to the passion and excitement they seem able to deliver on a nightly basis.

Enter Americans Abroad!!! Against Me!!! Live in London!!!, the band's first live album, which follows three full-lengths and a handful of EPs and singles. Up until their latest remix fiasco (From Her Lips to God's Ears), I've stood in strong support of everything the Gainesville band has released, but to their credit it wasn't them who remixed it. However, with Live in London!!!, Against Me! opens themselves up to the easy to ask questions -- why do a live album? Why do it now?

Going back to the beginning, Against Me! unquestionably has one of the best live shows of any touring band. It would seem that they would naturally transfer well to a live album, and they do transfer well -- but just barely. The set list is fantastic, touching briefly on their latest offering, Searching for a Former Clarity, but focusing slightly more heavily on ‚?¶As the Eternal Cowboy and ‚?¶Is Reinventing Axl Rose. Nearly all of the band's best live songs make an appearance, including, "Those Anarcho Punks Are Mysterious," "Sink, Florida, Sink," and "We Laugh at Danger and Break All the Rules," "TSR," and "Clich√© Guevara," which opens themselves for impassioned sing-alongs without fail every time. As with every time I've seen them play, stage banter is limited to little more than a "thank you."

Against Me! offers up a new song on the album, titled -- appropriately enough -- "Americans Abroad." It's a good song, too. While it follows in the vein of the material found on Searching, it grasps some of the urgency of their past songs, in part to its tempo and short length.

The quality of the recording also leaves little to be desired. It doesn't sound like a studio recording, but all the instruments and vocals come through as clear as you'd want. One aspect that doesn't come through, though, is the crowd level. If you strain your ears during the songs you can hear people shouting along, but you've really got to work for it. Of course, there are going to be those who say that they aren't paying to hear some random London dudes singing along to Against Me!, they're paying to hear Against Me!. Fair enough, but those who have seen Against Me! live know that standing neck and neck to some dude, covered in other people's sweat, pointing your finger in the air and shouting at the top of your lungs is as much a part of an Against Me! show as the band is. The average price of an Against Me! ticket is $10. Do yourself a favor and go catch them live.

That said, Live in London!!! makes a noble attempt at capturing the experience of Against Me! live; it's not its fault the project never stood a fair chance to do it perfectly.

 

 
People who liked this also liked:
Against Me! - As The Eternal CowboyAgainst Me! - is Reinventing Axl RoseAgainst Me! - Searching For A Former ClarityAgainst Me! - AcousticAgainst Me! - The Disco Before the BreakdownAgainst Me! - We're Never Going Home DVDNOFX - The DeclineThe Clash - London CallingOperation Ivy - Operation IvyStreetlight Manifesto - Everything Goes Numb

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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.
deadelectromix (March 10, 2008)

NoMeansNo and ASOB did it better.

mike_litt69 (March 17, 2007)

dude fuck a live against me! album. to really experience the live show you have to see them live it just isnt the same. and if there is no way you can see them live then get the we're never coming home dvd this does a better job of capturing against me! live.

ABedForLiars (September 2, 2006)

He's right. There's no way this album could capture the amazing experience of an Against Me! show. Still, it's a great release.

IDontKnowWhatToSay (September 1, 2006)

Against Me! is probably one of the greatest band I've ever seen live. I love their new song Americans Abroad!!! I can't wait for their new album next year.

hi people

Fuzzy (August 25, 2006)

contractual obligations suck

wyzo


There was no contractual obligation here. We found out about this album about 12 hours before Fat did. I'm sure they were as surprised as the rest of us.

rkl (August 25, 2006)

i dunno if this counts since its more than one gig, but i nominate adolescents - live '81-'86

Anonymous (August 24, 2006)

Has anyone ever noticed that they aren't really that good live? They simply have easy to sing along to songs, and everyone gets all excited and plays "Tom Gable" for a few brief moments at the show, and then goes home and raves on internet chat boards about how great against me was live. They could literally sit in lounge chairs with one leg over the other playing their instruments, and they'd get the same reaction.

FuckJay-Z (August 24, 2006)

I'm against me.

coffinfullofnails (August 24, 2006)

vvv your retarted, anyways not as good as it could have been, it's not bad, just doesnt transfer their live energy. worth picking up if you are a fan though

Anonymous (August 24, 2006)

What's up with these faggots and exclamation marks?

ReducerSF (August 24, 2006)

I like the record... the set list is really good, i was expecting a lot from Clarity but surprisingly it ended up being a good mix. The only let down is that the tempo is kinda slow in most of the songs and it doesn't have Baby I'm An Anarchist... but overall is really good.

Not-To-Regret (August 24, 2006)

"I miss days when the internet didnt exist.
Music was actually fun. We didnt have to listen to you whiney little message board pricks. If you dont like it dont listen to it . These dudes work hard. You dont. End"

I like Against Me! alot, I was into them before the Fat Wreck Era, (scene points 3) but this is just retarded. Message boards are great for music; no longer can mainstream opinion be the ONLY opinion. People need to bash and criticize bands, it helps fuel diverse and original music, and it helps bands find an audience. I love coming to this site for those reasons, I've found so much good music because of it.

Anonymous (August 23, 2006)

this would be good, but it appears that the band lacks energy. Hell, even kimmel performance was better

kirbypuckett (August 23, 2006)

I love this.

Not as much as I love playing Madden '07 and Dead Rising though.

It could have been better, but I am enjoying it.

- Kirby

grealy (August 23, 2006)

decent album, nothing on their actual show though. that said, it's a fucking cd, what was everyone expecting?

reinventing, anarcho punks and problems all rip though.

dunno of any band's live cd that said band isn't better either live or on cd though. with that in mind, all comments of "they're better live" or "they're better recorded" are retarded.

Anonymous (August 23, 2006)

*sigh* against me is amazing live... but this album is weak and the song selection is terrible :(

jacknife737 (August 23, 2006)

I'm a fan of both Against Me, and live albums, but come on this band has only what 3 studio albums? Give me a break.

and yes the band has a great live show, however

"Going back to the beginning, Against Me! unquestionably has one of the best live shows of any touring band."

not even close to the best live show out there.

Godfather (August 23, 2006)

live albums are normally pretty weak; this was no exception

Anonymous (August 22, 2006)

If you hate against me! so much Will, why are you always the first one to jump in and add your tired little insults everytime there's an against me! thread? All you do is bitch.

SlowStupidHungry (August 22, 2006)

Hahaha, seriously, those sound like something the bro's in my Criminal Justice class would say.

Never seen so many flip flops, John Deere caps, soul patches, or beer bellies before.

gladimnotemo (August 22, 2006)

The following are not excuses for releasing a semi-poor album or having shady ethics:

1. "These dudes are great dudes".
2. "These dudes work so hard! Great dudes".
3. "These dudes are great and they work so hard! Don't hate on them. Good dudes".

Anonymous (August 22, 2006)

is this on any sort of special vinyl?

Scruffy (August 22, 2006)

Also, none of us would say that music isn't the most incredibly fun thing in our lives, I'd bet. You just have to remember that every single thread is going to have commenters who agree and ones who disagree. It's not that people hate everything. It's that everything has its detractoprs and its supporters, and they both show up every time.

Scruffy (August 22, 2006)

Hey, how about this? Don't read anything on the internet if it bothers you so much. Fact of the matter is, this is the same stuff you'd overhear people talking about at a show. People can just find similar people online a lot easier, and that's why a lot of people tend to share the same opinion here. We're not sheep, we just gravitated to this site because we all share a similar taste.

Anonymous (August 22, 2006)

I miss days when the internet didnt exist.
Music was actually fun. We didnt have to listen to you whiney little message board pricks. If you dont like it dont listen to it . These dudes work hard. You dont. End.

cash_money_hustla (August 22, 2006)

The Murder City Devils live album is great.

TheDude (August 22, 2006)

1. am! live shows have gone considerably downhill in the last couple of years. people who keep saying that no between song banter is typical am! need to remember how they used to play a couple years ago. they always talked to the crowd about random shit and it was funny and made the experience that much more personable.

2. i think they've toured themselves out. the energy just does not seem to be there as much as it used to. and not only on this album, but the last couple of times i've seen them. they've got to be exhausted with as much touring as they do.

3. the am! dvd is 1000x better than this album. you can really get a feel for their best years in that film. their stop in cincinnati on that tour was probably the best show i've ever been to.

4. i too am growing increasingly apathetic towards this band. i think they need to take a break and reevaluate what they're doing. the new song on this album sounds forced, just like most of the songs on searching...

William_David (August 22, 2006)

To the defense of the band on this one, in a recent interview I did with Tom for the podcast, he mentioned wanting to do a farewell to Fat. That answers the the reviewers question of why do this now. They obviously couldn't do a full album of material as a farewell, as that album would just go to Sire. He doesn't like live CDs or EPs (from the standpoint of making them), but a live CD was the compromise.

As far as audio quality goes, I'm happy to hear more of the band and less of the crowd. He also mentioned the live disc gave them a chance to fix some things they didn't like on the album, so it makes sense that the sounds would focus on them, not the crowd, although some more sing-a-long parts would have been nice.

It's not revolutionary, but it's still a decent collection for the band, in my opinion.

halfcutskeleton (August 22, 2006)

Okay album. I thought this was going to hurt my ears from what everyone is saying about it. Its alright, not great, not sucky.
Does anyone remember that other live 7 Seconds album? I think it was called One Plus One. That was awesome. I had it like 10 years ago on cassette and I'm not sure if it was available on CD or LP. If anyone knows where to get that can you post it?

brixtongunman (August 22, 2006)

This isnt as good as it could have been.

that being said, its not nearly as bad as a lot of people are saying it it.

wyzo (August 22, 2006)

contractual obligations suck

wyzo

Anonymous (August 22, 2006)

I'm not saying I don't like against me, I love them, but this sounds like a bootleg.

JTravolta (August 22, 2006)

Remember when it was cool to say you liked against me? Man how times have changed.

Anonymous (August 22, 2006)

Somebody review the casualties!

Anonymous (August 22, 2006)

Love this band, love their performances, but this sounds something god awful

Anonymous (August 22, 2006)

against me is one of my favorite bands but this shit sucks.

it sounds like they did it in a studio and they recorded a crowd that doesn't know who agaisnt me is.

arrhythmia (August 22, 2006)

Sink Florida Sink is a good song. Can't really get into anything else by these guys.

Anonymous (August 22, 2006)

Why does no one ever mention 7 Seconds's "Scream real loud" as a top live record? That cd is amazing. To be fair i also love The Blue Meanies and Social D's live albums, but 7 Seconds is right up there.

SlowStupidHungry (August 22, 2006)

"Going back to the beginning, Against Me! unquestionably has one of the best live shows of any touring band."

I can't believe Superdude has such subpar taste...

This band blows now.

EyesLikeBOmbs (August 22, 2006)

The crowd sucks on this album. English people don't know how to chant.

Scruffy (August 22, 2006)

The best live punk album of all time, past, present AND future is Bad Religion's Tested, simply because of the nature of its being. Read the liner notes about how most live albums are crap and/or duplicitous studio-touched up merchandise, and how they brought a recording unit with them on sixty-some dates of a European tour and put the best versions of the songs they wanted, with the only changes being mixing and mastering, AND how the only time you hear the crowd is when they're so loud it comes through the vocal, guitar and drum mics. Also, the version of Generator with a crowd of German people singing the English lyrics to mellow version of the first verse, before the band barrells in with distortion is mindblowing. It's one of the punkest records I, or anyone, could own.

Fuzzy (August 22, 2006)

It's Crime, not Crimes and if you wanna get really anal it's Crime as Forgiven by....

Anonymous (August 22, 2006)

listening to the song americans abroad it's very clear these guys are moving toward being the next clash.

and just like with the clash you got a bunch of little poser hippy punks talking shit that will end up loving them in the end anyway.

ahh history repeating itself is such a grand thing

Cos (August 22, 2006)

Best live punk album:

The Ramones "Its Alive!"

--Cos

FrodoShaggins (August 22, 2006)

Going back to the beginning, Against Me! unquestionably has one of the best live shows of any touring band.

hardly.

Anonymous (August 22, 2006)

james needs to stop singing. his voice sucks. i enjoyed against me much more when only tom sang.

colin (August 22, 2006)

bland and boring and the fact there isn't a nod to some of their best work (impact or what we worked for) is even worse.

maverick (August 22, 2006)

You can stream the entire record at http://www.altpress.com/media all this week.

Just sayin'.

-Scott

clampdown17 (August 22, 2006)

I agree that the sequencing does kinda suck. They should have thrown in another Axl, Crime or Disco song to break up that string of four Cowboy songs in a row.

I doubt Sire had anything to do with the song selection though. This set is pretty close to the one they played a week ago, except they played more new songs and afew different Axl songs. I guess it's just pretty rare for them to play anything pre-Axl Rose nowadays...

Anonymous (August 22, 2006)

The sequencing for this thing is terrible:

3 songs from SFAFC in a row:

7: Miami
8: Don‚??t Lose Touch
9: Unprotected Sex with Multiple Partners

4 songs from ATEC in a row:

10: Sink, Florida, Sink Download
11: You Look Like I Need a Drink
12: Turn Those Clapping Hands into Angry Balled Fists
13: T.S.R.

Seriously, mix them up a little! And nothing from Crimes? Weak sauce. I wonder if the major label had a say in what went onto this thing...

-Chinatown

ChokingVictim (August 22, 2006)

I like this more than everybody else seems to. Not up to par with any studio work (but what can you expect, it's a live album) but an enjoyable listen nonetheless.

gladimnotemo (August 22, 2006)

I wish this had their set from JIMMY KIMMEL. I feel it would really be a great representation of their movement from underground "stars" to big-time money making stars.

sickboi (August 22, 2006)

Best live album is the Bad Religion import.

The Piestasters Strapped Live! is damn good too...

kingofsuck (August 22, 2006)

It's about what I expected. I didn't really think Against Me!'s live set would translate well to a live album. I would highly recommend the DVD above this.

Anonymous (August 22, 2006)

the best live albums (besides cash at folsom and springsteen) are face to face, no use live in a dive, social d @ the roxy, strung out live in a dive.
the bouncing souls live cd was equally as a letdown as this. the guitars/sound quality changed so much between discs
-cuapunkradio

stu138 (August 22, 2006)

This is the worst live album ever. It's boring and a piss poor representation of their live show.

Anonymous (August 22, 2006)

This!!! record!!! is!!! pretty!!! rad!!!

Anonymous (August 22, 2006)

I don't generally like live albums but I have loved live albums by some of my favourite bands (Social D's Live At The Roxy & Descendents' Liveage!) but this doesn't sound too great. Those that say Against Me! doesn't interact with the crowd I dunno what was wrong with your shows. When I saw them just at the end of last year there was a goodamount, and the crowd stormed the stage and stuff. I think a lot of how good a show is rests on the crowd.

- APK

clampdown17 (August 22, 2006)

This needs more Walking Is Still Honest. A few rarities woulda been a treat too, ala Stung Out's live in a dive. Maybe Impact or What We Worked For and the Disco Before the Breakdown.

It's a solid set on it's own, but a few tweaks could have made this record a lot more worthwhile...

sxenester (August 22, 2006)

Hey Colin - Guess we both lose, it's between 3 and 4.

Also, opening line of the review is 110% cheese. Score's for that.

welcome_to_1984 (August 22, 2006)

First of all... why do a live CD in London? Why not in Gainsville or somewhere closer? And the best live CD of all time is Face to Face Live... great crowd interaction and song choices except disconnected isn't on there.

almostpunkenough (August 22, 2006)

and seriously!!!! enough!!! with the fucking exclamation marks!

!!!!

almostpunkenough (August 22, 2006)

meh.

i keep growing incresingly apathetic to them.

Anonymous (August 22, 2006)

They rule. They should have done some more albums before doing a love album BUT I'll still buy this. One of the most important bands in punk rock today...

Anonymous (August 22, 2006)

One of the best and most important bands out there right now, but this album is only mediocre at best. Ah well, I still love them.

sickboi (August 22, 2006)

You know, I like this CD, then was disappointed. But now I've realized something. Half of the strength of Against Me! is their action and movement in a show. (I love the the hi-5's Tom and James always do)

You can't convey that into a live album. I'll admit, I like a little more banter, but that isn't really AM! Solid album.

TheRhetoric (August 22, 2006)

Love Against Me! but I don't think I will pick this up. I have mixed feelings on live albums in general, I think the only one I own that I listen to semi-often is From Here To Eternity

SalsaShark (August 22, 2006)

From a post I made in the last.fm forum:

I love this band but I was severely disappointed by this. It's not nearly as fast as it should be, James' background vocals overpower Tom's one time too often, the song selection has no special treats (like "The Disco..." or "What We Worked For"), and it all feels sort of "muted."

I found that We're Never Going Home had a much, much better recording. There's a lot more energy to it and it doesn't sound "muted" at all to me. You can hear the crowd a lot (which is what live albums are for), and you get all this great participation, like the guy from No Choice (I think) fucking up the lyrics to "Baby, I'm An Anarchist" and the really loud crowd singalong during the bridge at the end of "We Laugh At Danger" just gives me chills (I know this album has one but it's not nearly as overwhelming). It's also got a better song selection. Luckily, I have a mp3 set ripped from the DVD which makes for pretty much the best AM! live album I could ask for.

For a good live album, I don't think much beats "Live At The Middle East" by the Bosstones, which was my very first ska/punk CD. I'm sure there's a couple of other really good ones I'm forgetting right now.

Keith19 (August 22, 2006)

I saw them open for Alkaline Trio in New Jersey at Starland Ballroom. It was a grreat show. I had picked up "Searching..." and was pretty impressed and their live show was awesome. I didn't expect much but I was pleasently surprised.

Anonymous (August 22, 2006)

Pre-ordered the cd and vinyl from interpunk....still waiting on it to come in.

Also, I know I've read this exact review on another site.

leifkills (August 22, 2006)

I love Against Me! but.... this cd sucks.

telegraphrocks (August 22, 2006)

Oh, and not to act all cool with the "I like the old shit", but the four songs from Axl are the best on here, simply because they sound 100 times better than their studio recordings.

Just my thoughts, but I'd like to hear the entire Axl album re-recorded with the current line-up in a good studio.

telegraphrocks (August 22, 2006)

This is tied for best live album ever, along with Blue Meanies' "A Sonic Documentation Of Exhibition and Banter".

Only (extremely minor) changes I'd like to make to this would be to take off "Unprotected Sex..." and replace it with "Pretty Girls", and randomly add "Walking Is Still Honest" and "Tonight We're Gonna Give It 35%".

Yeah.

Anonymous (August 22, 2006)

i've seen them seven times. this show sounds like it would be the worst by far. the band doesn't seem that into it, the crowd is dead, etc. this show just doesn't seem to deserve a live release.

best record: social d's live at the roxy. discuss (again)

GreatStoryOfApathy (August 22, 2006)

I really like the new song, but I think it would fit better on Cowboy than on Searching. If it were on Searching, it would probably be my favorite song on that CD though. I know it's not, just saying.

ozmanx (August 22, 2006)

I agree with inagreendase. I heard to the record again and noticed that their is no energy put forth on most tracks, didn't notice it the first couple listens. Could care less about the crowd response though as they kindof ruin live records for me.

cash_money_hustla (August 22, 2006)

They just sound really tired. This is unfortunate because, as anyone who has seen them live, knows they are amazing most of the time.

BrendanKelly (August 22, 2006)

great graet great

inagreendase (August 22, 2006)

I liked this okay until everyone started pointing out their criticisms of it: no energy, barely audible crowd response...and then I realized on my own that those backup vocals sound more and more like Zolli from Ignite with every passing show, and I just can't take that pseudo-punk-operatic thing. Now black is white and white is black, and I'm just plain in doubt.

adam (August 22, 2006)

I like the new song quite a bit, but this is such a boring live album. There is nothing particulary eventful about this set in any way, a compilation of studio tracks would sound more or less the same. Too bad.

-adam

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