ALBUM REVIEW: Against Me! – Transgender Dysphoria Blues
Within this industry, by nature it’s usually a race to see who can get a review out of a new release out of the door first but when it came to the latest album from punk rockers Against Me! I am glad I have taken the time to sit back, listen and enjoy just how good this album truly is.
I am not going to lie I wasn’t totally blown away to start off with. By no means am I saying it is a bad album, acutaully far from it. I think I just had such high expectations for it having already listened to the acoustic releases of ‘Fuckmylife666’ and ‘True Trans Souls Rebel’ and by high expectations I mean I picked them as the band/artist to watch for 2014.
So back to the band itself, if you have been living under a rock for the past year or simply you don’t know Against Me! particularly well they have been through some pretty radical changes. Frontman Tom Gabel came out as a transgender woman in 2012 during an interview Rolling Stone Magazine and went through some massive changes in his personal life to become the woman she is know, Laura Jane Grace. This obviously has had a knock on effect with the band, leaving certain members deciding to up sticks and move on but the more worrying thing for me is the response by a small minority of fans. When I read comments on social media sites about how the band isn’t the same etc I couldn’t disagree more. Laura Jane Grace has always been writing songs with similar meanings on previous albums, all be it a little bit more subtle with lyrics like “And if I could have chosen, I would have been born a woman My mother once told me she would have named me Laura” from ‘The Ocean’ it’s just we were all a little blind or maybe a little naive to notice.
Finally to the album itself it definitely has a different feel to it. Gone are the overproduced songs of Butch Vig, not that I minded them personally but this is definitely more of a back to the roots kind of album straight up punk rock that the original Against Me! fan was used to. The one thing that you will get from this record though is honesty. You get the feeling that Laura can now write more openly about her issues with being questioned or having to hide. Despite being a relatively short album weighing in at around 30 minutes it definitely leaves its mark.
So now I have had time to soak it all in is it all I expected it to be? Yes. Will it be my album of the year, obviously it’s to early to say as it is still only February but I really wouldn’t be surprised at all.
The album is now available to buy at Amazon.
Watch the Against Me! perform ‘Fuckmylife666’ on the David Letterman show below
Listen to the album on Spotify below: