Ah shit, if you choose to categorise this as pop/punk you’ll render my previous statement about Against Me’s album being the year’s best by several furlongs rather nonsensical, but come on it’s only a fucking list, stop pretending you give a shit and lighten up a bit. It’s not pop/punk of course, it’s gloriously euphoric and combatively melodic rock music, simply nine collections of mind blowing choruses and hooks so pronounced that they’re each their own civil parish within the Hart district of northern Hampshire (yeah I really peaked far too early with that Dustin Hoffman film reference didn’t I? And that wasn’t that good in the first place). Dalle’s first solo sounds less like the brash punk of The Distillers and more akin to the abrasive and highly melodious rock of her husband’s band Queens of the Stone Age, though you’ll have to go a long way back to find a song Josh Homme’s wrote that’s quite as arresting as Dressed in Dreams or Rat Race (Ok, it was probably last year’s If I Had a Tail, but shut up I’m trying to make a point here). It also turns out writing about your children doesn’t have to be horrendously embarrassing if you use lyrical flushes like Dalle does in Meet the Foetus/Oh the Joy (‘You have sailed through the eye of my needle/A perfect parasite burgeoning Eden/You and I, in DNA, you’ll never get away’) and the appearance of Shirley Manson is always welcome, although I could live without the gurgling baby noises that I Don’t Need Your Love fades off into. Blood in Gutters is absolutely the best song of 2014 to picture yourself shouting at karaoke (Ok, I actually did say that about a different Against Me song didn’t I?)
I love the typeface, I love the colourisation and I love Brody Dalle’s new haircut.
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