Stripwax: Against it!
Early Saturday morning, George walks into my office and says “Can I talk to you for a minute?”
“Sure George,” I say, “have a seat.”
“Well, I just thought I should tell you that I was in the hospital all day yesterday, ” he says, ” everything is fine now, but yesterday my balls swelled up so big, they was the size of grapefruits. The doctor checked me out and said that I tore a ligament in my sack and the infection spread to my balls.”
Okay. It’s tough not to laugh when a guy comes in and tells you a story like this, but in this kind of situation, I’ve been trained to listen with empathy. Or at least fake it.
So I nodded as my mind drifted off to “White Crosses” by Against Me! and George continued to compare his swollen nut size to cantaloupes, softballs and other spherical items. Somewhere along their quest for stardom (or perhaps, mere survival in an industry that has a long and well-documented history of rewarding mediocrity) Against Me! lost their balls.
To continue to label this band as “punk” is just plain false. Is a banana a hammer? Is Lady Gaga a linebacker? No and no. On “White Crosses,” Against Me! sound like a cross between Bruce Springsteen and Flogging Molly, which is fine if yer a band called “Flogging Springsteen.” The only trace of “punk” to be found (not heard, mind you) is in the song title “I Was A Teenage Anarchist” (and even THAT’S cliché, fer crissakes) where they ask the question “Do you remember when you were young and wanted to set the world on fire?”
It’s a question they should ask themselves the next time they decide to write and record songs.
They sound like just about everything else that The Music Industry chops and forms for The Radio Industry — processed. It’s not really Butch Vig’s fault… he just does what he always does best: inflate the sound to the point of bursting.
When George finally (!!!) came to the point — which was to let me know that he was o.k. and had been released by his doctor to work that day – I told him this:
“George, I never heard of anyone tearing a ligament in their ballsack, but swollen balls are a drag, scary even. At least you know for sure that you still have ‘em, eh?”