Released: January 21, 2014
Back in 2011, Against Me! announced that they where working on a new album but eventually ran into some line-up changes and scrapped the project to start fresh. In May of 2013, Against Me! got in the studio and finally recorded what would become “Transgender Dysphoria Blues”. The songs of the album and the overall theme of the album centers around the subject of lead singer, “Laura Jane Grace” going through a gender reconstruction which may have steered some fans away. In my opinion, to each his or her own and if you like the music then enjoy it.
Compared to the bands past work, this album fits in with the mix in terms of sound, angst, and thoughtful lyrical content. I feel that lead singer, “Grace” really put herself out there in a courageous way with this album. This is who she is and if you don’t like that then whatever. My personal favorite tracks from the album are; “Transgender Dysphoria Blues”, which kicks off the album very well with agressive statements and a fun pace, “True Trans Soul Rebel”, which dives into the topic of “Grace’s” transsexualism with a question, “does god bless your transsexual heart?”
The last two songs I want to point out are the last two tracks of the album which I feel are the strongest on it making for a powerful finish. “Paralytic States” is a deep song that really shows the inside of “Grace’s” mind and how she could never be who she truly was unless she was willing to lose it all. Then comes the semi-haunting track, “Black Me Out” which shows “Grace” dis-associating herself with someone or anyone that looks down on her for who she is. This song is very powerful weather you apply it to the concept or not. It is filled with rage, anger, and frustration making for an almost bitter ending that seems to get the point across that she is who she is and she doesn’t give a damn.
While it’s not the best album from Against Me!, “Transgender Dysphoria Blues” is an emotional roller-coaster ride through the mind of a person making major changes in their life that may not be supported by some or many. This album is aggressively and emotionally charged. It leaves me thinking that despite the line-up changes and fall-outs, this band might push through and become something better and more great than what it was before. What comes next is something I can’t be to sure of.