Tuesday, 28 January 2014
Review of "Transgender Dysphoria Blues" by Against Me!
Transsexual coming-out stories are a rarity in the rock scene and I was curious to hear how the Floridian punk band’s lead singer, Laura Jane Gabel (formerly known as Thomas James Gabel) would tackle such daring and personal subject matter. In the true spirit of punk, Grace doesn’t pussyfoot around the theme with allegories and metaphors. “You want them to see you like they see every other girl/ but they just see a faggot!” and “By the time the ball dropped it was already over” are two examples of the brilliantly bold lyricism displayed on this album. Other themes are also explored on the album and are done so with as much wit. What’s lacking from Against Me!’s sound is grit. There’s little emotional conviction in Grace’s vocal delivery causing some of the songs such as “Dead Friend” to lack the heart-wrenching power that ought to be there. The production is also far too clean, causing the music to feel tame, when it should be as turbulent and intrepid as its lyrics.