By mixing Bruce Springsteen’s bravado with Warped Tour punk, AM Taxi covers much of the same ground as the Gaslight Anthem, right down to the rough, Paul Westerberg-styled vocals that both groups employ. We Don’t Stand a Chance is the band’s major-label debut, and it makes no attempt to hide its influences. Frontman Adam Krier (fresh from his stint with Lucky Boys Confusion, another local Chicago group) is proud of his Springsteen fandom, and he conjures up a world populated by many of the same characters that once inhabited the streets, bars, and cars of Born to Run. Subscribing to the “fight or flight” mentality, he splits his subjects into two groups: those who stay in their hometown, either out of love for one of its residents or the simple inability to leave, and those who seize the day by escaping the city limits, often in a car with the radio cracked high. “We hang like question marks at the end of every dream/I’d rather be a fugitive than die here in between,” he rasps during “Dead Street,” the album’s lead-off track and a veritable 21st century adaptation of “Badlands.” Apart from the occasional piano progression or organ chord, though, We Don’t Stand a Chance is a stripped-down album, one that’s more focused on lean punk rock than the orchestrated arrangements Springsteen brought to some of his material. The result is a kinetic record that swings for the fences without overextending its reach.
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AllMusic Review by Andrew Leahey