The against me! front man puts out a record that unique and diferent than his previous work in a good way. Every song on the album is good unfortunatly their are only 7 tracks. Still it’s a great debut . And I can’t wait to see what his next solo album brings to the table
Tom Gabel, leader of acclaimed Modern Rock band Against Me!, returns to his roots as a solo singer songwriter-acoustic guitarist with the EP Heart Burns. Inspired by the country’s current political and cultural landscape, and recorded this summer between Against Me! tours, Gabel wanted to release the topical and timely songs prior to the forthcoming national elections. With new-millennium protest songs such as ’Anna Is A Stool Pigeon,’ prompted by a story about an environmental activist sent to jail after being implicated by an undercover informant, Heart Burns isa scorching musical manifesto.
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I accidentally stumbled onto this albumm while looking for whatever Against Me music I could get my hands on. I had watched the videos on his myspace page so I knew what I was in for. I just never anticipated that it would flow so well as an album. While each song is its own story, I anticipated and listened carefully for what was coming next. Then the album was over unfortunately. I really wanted more, 14 or 15 songs just like this would have got my nomination for album of the year. My favortie song on the album is the predictable “Anna was a stool pigeon.” The first time I listened to it I chuckled, then I kept listening and listening to the interesting story this song portrayed. All of the songs are quality and I have no complaints. It is a little catchier than a typical Against Me album but I think most fans will love this album.
If you love Against Me! you have to have this CD. You really can’t tell the difference between the band and this solo release, I just wish it were more than 7 songs.
This semi-slower, more acoustic offering from the lead singer of Against Me! is refreshing but doesn’t stray too far from Gabel’s punk roots. I was lucky to see him at the Knitting Room performing these songs acoustic and they still pack a lot of punch. Don’t be fooled by the divergence, there are smart lyrics and smart music waiting to be heard by all Against Me! fans and beyond. I think it’s great to hear this other side of Tom.
I recommend 100 Years of War and Random Hearts to sample.
Regardless of whether Tom Gabel is performing solo or with Against Me!, his songs make me want to learn every word and scream along at the top of my lungs. I can’t think of any higher praise than that.
Sure, some of the production choices on “Heart Burns” are questionable, but in the end the enjoyment of this music comes from Gabel’s amazingly intense voice. This guy’s blood is overflowing with electricity, and his delivery could make even a mediocre song sound thrilling.
Not that there’s anything mediocre about the songs on “Heart Burns.” Every song on this album is killer in its own way.
My favorites, though, are “Amputations,” which gets to the heart of the anti-war movement; “100 Years of War,” which might as well be the soundtrack to the 2008 presidential election; and “Anna is a Stool Pigeon,” which is reminiscent of Bob Dylan’s “Hurricane” in that it puts a complex legal story into a catchy song (Google “Elle Anna FBI Informant” to find the fascinating magazine article that inspired the song).
I’ll admit that this isn’t the greatest album ever. I understand that it might not appeal to everyone. But I freaking love it. All Gabel needs is a little bit more popularity and he could become the Joe Strummer of the 21st century. He already is in my eyes.