See Against Me! Play New Songs at Slamdance

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Marc Hogan WRITTEN BY
Marc Hogan

From Drake to Grouplove, the Sundance Film Festival has already brought no shortage of music to Park City, Utah. The same snow-covered mountain town also hosts the Slamdance Film Festival, which boasts the discovery of directors Christopher Nolan (Memento), Jared Hess (Napoleon Dynamite), and Oren Peli (Paranormal Activity). As PunkNews.org points out, Against Me! played at a Slamdance afterparty over the weekend, and the politics-spiked Florida punks unveiled a few new songs.

Against Me!'s roughly hour-long set followed the premiere of No Room for Rockstars, a documentary detailing the Vans Warped Tour. The band opened its performance with the previously unreleased "Black Me Out," an expletive-laden rant against someone who thinks they're frontman Tom Gabel's "pimp." The angry yet still-anthemic song has been making the online rounds in rough form since December 2010, and its actual live debut came New Year's Eve in Atlanta, but it's a stirring beginning.

Two seemingly even newer songs came later in the set. Near the 21:35 mark, the previously unreleased "Dead Friends" appears to make its live debut. It's an earnest, uptempo pop-punk song about exactly what it's subject suggests: "Goddamn, I miss my dead friends," Gabel shouts. Around the 46:40 mark, meanwhile, a song Gabel introduces with the provocative title of "Osama Bin Laden Is the Crucified Christ" also looks to be brand new. "You're gonna hang," goes one repeated line, as frenetic drumming underpins the raucous, righteous sludge.

Against Me! last released new music last year, with the 7" single "Russian Spies." The song and its B-side, "Occult Enemies," were among the final recordings at Smart Studios, the now-shuttered home base of Butch Vig, who produced the band's most recent two albums, 2010's White Crosses and SPIN's 2007 Album of the Year, New Wave. (Nirvana's Nevermind reissue last year included demos recorded with Vig at Smart Studios.)

Also last year, Against Me! dropped rarities compilation Total Clarity. The new songs could be intended for Against Me!'s first proper album since ditching Warner imprint Sire. The band reportedly had begun recording last fall with new drummer Jay Weinberg, son of Max Weinberg. Against Me! will be performing at the Musink Festival in Costa Mesa, Calif., on March 4, and Gabel has a handful of European solo shows on tap.

Check out this weekend's full Against Me! set list here, and watch the performance:

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