Against Me!
Transgender Dysphoria Blues


4.7
superb

Review

by John weathered old reviewer Hanson STAFF
January 13th, 2014 | 535 replies | 41,527 views


Release Date: 01/21/2014 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Transgender Dysphoria Blues is catchy and important as fuck. Listen to it.

You could write entire essays on the importance of Laura Jane Grace making the full switch to a woman, about what it means for Transexuals in modern society and culture, what it could mean for a traditionally patriarchal (and surprisingly intolerant) punk rock scene, and what her coming out means for so many people across the world. Transgender Dysphoria Blues is a bit late to be considered a coming out party for Laura, and has so much thematically in common with it’s predecessor White Crosses that claims of it being a new awakening for Against Me! are a tad bit exaggerated, it’s such a stunning and important stamp on popular rock music that it completely validates all the attention and anticipation it has gotten.

Transgender Dysphoria Blues immediately kicks you in the face, as the title track spits some of the most brutally honest and bracing lyrics Laura has ever written. Lines like “You want them to see you/Like they see any other girl/They just see a faggot” and “You've got no cunt in your strut” are incredibly self-deprecating in the most violent of ways, and set-up the themes of self dissatisfaction and gender alienation that make up the album. Even on the more upbeat songs, she sings facetious and tongue-in-cheek hooks like “Is your mother proud of your eyelashes?/Silicone chest and collagen lips/How would you even recognize me?” (FuckMyLife666).

Whereas the lyrics are obviously focused on Laura’s trials and tribulations as a transgendered woman pre- and post-coming out, the impact that has on their sound is what is even more striking. While still Tom Gabel, she sounded occasionally deflated and lifeless on previous album White Crosses, and even though Transgender Dysphoria Blues retains much of what was great about that album (tight songwriting, anthemic choruses and pristine hooks), Against Me! hasn't sounded this energetic and alive for ten years. While the shortened album length surely helps, as at 29 minutes it’s their shortest record since As the Eternal Cowboy, Laura brings a gravitas and ferociousness that is more immediate and impacting than almost anyone else in punk rock. They've found the perfect melding of the Bruce Springsteen arena rock and late 90’s/early 00’s punk rock that they’ve been trying to achieve for the past few records, and the result is an album full of life and meaning.

While most of Transgender Dysphoria Blues is incredibly dark and often vicious, it’s all brought to a head with “Black Me Out”, an anthem rejecting all of the hate and self-loathing the rest of the album has built up and established, replacing it with an invigorating sense of ‘*** you’. Where penultimate track “Paralytic States” ends on the foreboding note of “No resolutions for the new year beginning tomorrow”, the first verse of “Black Me Out” triumphantly states “I don't ever want to talk that way again/I don't want to know people like that anymore/As if there was an obligation/As if I owed you something”. It’s a song that firmly embraces the fact that there shouldn't need to be a dialogue about things like transgendered people, gay marriage, and anyone else facing the stigma of a society rooted in three hundred year old prejudices. It’s her final statement: a rejection of the fact that in 2014, Laura Jane Grace needs to make an album about people who just want acceptance to be who the fuck they are. Transgender Dysphoria Blues might be the most important album of the year, and its message will hopefully seep into music culture and spread till records like this don’t *have* to get made anymore.

But maybe not until we get the sequel, Transgender Dysphoria Blues 2: Electric Boogaloo, eh Laura?



Recent reviews by this author
Washboard Leo Thomas Louisiana BluegrassCrusades Perhaps You Deliver This Judgement...
Los Campesinos! No BluesArcade Fire Reflektor
Touche Amore Is Survived BySatyricon Satyricon
user ratings (318)
Chart.
3.7
great
other reviews of this album
1 of

Comments:Add a Comment 
LilLioness
January 13th 2014



2428 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

John with that 4.7, I really hope I dig this that much.

Iluvatar
Staff Reviewer
January 13th 2014



16071 Comments

Album Rating: 4.7 | Sound Off

Lol I forgot to copy the touched up version, whoops

Digging: Trophy Scars - Holy Vacants

ThePrisonGuard
January 13th 2014



233 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Stream isn't working here, but the stream is on NPR. http://www.npr.org/2014/01/12/261095666/first-listen-against-me-transgender-dysphoria-blues

Green Baron
January 13th 2014



11031 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

it's not a 4.7 but definitely a step up from the last two

Digging: Chevelle - La Gargola

BigHans
January 13th 2014



26455 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Dude I remember when you reviewed White Crosses it was like you came back from the dead

Curse.
Contributing Reviewer
January 13th 2014



7762 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5 | Sound Off

A review that talks about the music????

Digging: The Menzingers - Rented World

Curse.
Contributing Reviewer
January 13th 2014



7762 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5 | Sound Off

Hans, sometimes dead is better

Kris.
January 13th 2014



11368 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

oh cool embedded streams in reviews now. when did that happen?

Lexluthor
January 13th 2014



96 Comments


(posted this in the other review before I read this one)

Not sure about this yet. Will need to give it a few more listens.
From what I have heard there are a few good tracks on here (Black me Out is great) but a lot of the rest sounds like a less catchy version of White Crosses to me.

I mean Unconditional Love would have been laughed at if it had been on White Crosses. Plus something sounds off with the production to me, could just be the stream so I will give it the benefit of the doubt but it all sounds a little all over the place.

I do think some people have come out a little strong in favour of this simply because they support Laura (which they should). Personally I thought White Crosses was an 'ok' album and this sounds about the same to me. I may come around but at the moment I'm not feeling it.

Spec
January 13th 2014



26833 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Sick haven't been excited for an Against Me release in years.

BigPleb
January 13th 2014



28456 Comments


Never heard this band.

Kris.
January 13th 2014



11368 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

"Never heard this band."

that username sure fits you

Green Baron
January 13th 2014



11031 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

plebowski

BigHans
January 13th 2014



26455 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

I bet that other dude who reviewed this is pissed his fame of being the first to have this up lasted about 15 minutes, now Hanson will get all the comments. Sucks to not be a legend.

Trebor.
Contributing Reviewer
January 13th 2014



48528 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

It happens to the best of us

Digging: The Hotelier - Home, Like NoPlace Is There

BigPleb
January 13th 2014



28456 Comments


punk, folk punk, alternative rock.

Doesn't sound like my thing anyway buddy, folk punk lol wtf.

Green Baron
January 13th 2014



11031 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

that's like early

BigHans
January 13th 2014



26455 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Big Pleb listen to the song Sink Florida, Sink by them, definition of rad folk-punk. Or the acoustic version of Pints of Guiness Make You Strong, aka one of the best songs in the history of ever.

Kris.
January 13th 2014



11368 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

"Still, album titles are p gay so not gonna go there."

wow you are very dumb

anyways yea hans have you seen them live
pints of guinness is insane live so much fun

Green Baron
January 13th 2014



11031 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

BigPleb and BigHans whoops thought you were the same guy for a sec



You have to be logged in to post a comment. Login | Create a Profile





FAQ // STAFF & CONTRIBUTORS // SITE FORUM // CONTACT US

Bands: A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z


Site Copyright 2005-2013 Sputnikmusic.com
All Album Reviews Displayed With Permission of Authors | Privacy Policy