When it comes to bands always striving to stay away from the norm without leaving their roots behind, look no further than punk act Against Me!. The band has had a wild few years with lineup changes, label shifts and the transformation of frontman Tom Gabel into frontwoman Laura Jane Grace during the summer of 2012. The latter is the main focus of Against Me!’s sixth studio album Transgender Dysphoria Blues along with Laura’s dealing with the death of a young friend and a brand new sense of self-discovery. Along with sending out a revolutionary message in dealing with a subject that the status quo are afraid to talk about, musically the album is as punk rock as it gets. Emphatic, abrasive and even some tinges of old-school style rock & roll are abundant on the album, it’ll light a fire in your soul that’ll never go out.
One thing that is pretty surprising to know about Transgender Dysphoria Blues is that NOFX’s Fat Mike played bass on a couple tracks. With lyrical content that will send chills up your spine along with staying genuine, Laura isn’t afraid to tell it like it is which each song dealing with experiences that can only be told through rhythms & chords. I appreciate the fact that there isn't another album that covers the troubles of being transgender in today’s day & age, Transgender Dysphoria Blues brings it all straight to your face without any apologies. Not giving a crap about what other people think and being true to yourself is the essence of being a punk, Against Me!’s new album couldn't have been a better statement for the anti-idealists.
Is it just me or do people consistently get crazier as each day goes by? Hell, it could be both sides of the equation. To take a break from driving your mind up a wall, indulge in my top tracks off of my Album Of The Week. It’s way better than finding yourself in a padded room wearing nothing but a straitjacket and it might even bring your music taste to a state of sanity that we can all live with. Anyways and as always, here goes something:
The bluesy riffs on “Unconditional Love” hit you like a musical punch in the gut, all about how your significant other can stress you out and you feel that nothing can save you from it. There’s something about “True Trans Soul Rebel” that reminds me a lot of The Clash, it could be the triumphant chorus or the driving chords but I’m sure it’s a track that Joe Strummer would have appreciated. Nostalgia ensues with “Drinking With The Jocks”, Laura’s trademark growl roars like a rabid dog that sounds as if it was an homage to Against Me!’s earlier material. Don’t just let three songs make you think that the rest of the tracks off of Transgender Dysphoria Blues is sub par. In fact, it’s the exact opposite.
Against Me! will be performing at The 40 Watt Club in Athens, GA tonight and hopefully they will come back to The New England area soon and rock our collective faces off. Until they bring the chaos to your friendly neighborhood music venue, grab a copy of Against Me!’s Transgender Dysphoria Blues. It exudes aggression with massive intensity & vigor to give your system a much needed shock.
Listen for Yourself