“We used to get high together,” Against Me! frontman Tom Gabel sings at the start of “Because of the Shame,” from their fifth and recently reissued album White Crosses. The past tense is the most important part of that line. The ache of regret and nostalgia hangs heavy across both “Because of the Shame” and the song’s video, where clips of concerts, bars and pizza joints from the band’s hometown of Gainesville, Florida flash on the screen while Gabel eulogizes an ex-love who has passed away.
Another “used to”: longtime fans often complain that Against Me! used to be punk, that they used to stand for something. “Because of the Shame” is not very punk rock. But the song’s pretty, downcast piano chords work well with its un-idealized look backward. Perhaps that’s why director Jason Thrasher includes shots of a house’s old plastic siding and a cemetery at night alongside the happier shots of girls at local bars and hometown gigs. Gabel doesn’t want to return to the past so much as understand why certain things have happened. [Watch via YouTube]