Transgender Dysphoria Blues - TOTAL TREBLE
FILTER Grade: 82%
By A. D. Amorosi on March 7, 2014
Part of you tries to be objective about the fact that Tom James Gabel is now Laura Jane Grace, and just go about the business of Against Me!’s sleek, crunching nu-punk with angst-laden lyrics. But, as the record’s title suggests, it’s not something meant to be ignored and, thankfully, Grace is in-your-face with an aggressively told tale of selfhood (to say nothing of the heartbreak of loss) at its most exposed and anthemic. The title track and “True Trans Soul Rebel” act as a one-two-punch introduction to Grace’s gall, with the guttural “Drinking with the Jocks” an icy ode to the hazards of the life she once looked upon. The desire to find oneself—whatever self or skin that’s in—is Transgender Dysphoria Blues’s universal vibe, containing as much significance and emotion in its songs as there is beauty to a butterfly mid-flight.