“Transgender Dysphoria Blues” – Against Me!

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This record exceeded all my expectations and proved to be the most biting Against Me! record since Clarity (maybe even Cowboy). Upon first listen, I noticed the voice. The passion has returned to singer Laura Jane Grace’s wonderful roar. I found a desperate quality in her tone that had been missed in the past two records. 2007’s New Wave was by no means a bad record, but her voice just aches with an earnestness on this release vacant from New Wave and White Crosses. This release is filled with lots of hooks and excellent catchy guitar that I haven’t heard much from this band before. I should add that this isn’t a reversion to former splendor for this band but simply a beautiful progression that incorporates elements from all the band’s records prior to this one. The lyrics are dark and full of yearning and aggression, which, again, is a positive trait. The one drawback for this record is that it lacked any solo acoustic songs with howling vocals akin to “Joy” or “8 Full Hours of Sleep.” Coming in at around a half hour, Transgender Dysphoria Blues is an extremely listenable record that has already had many spins from me.

-Matthew Koerner

Recommended Jams: Dead Friend, Paralytic States, FUCKMYLIFE666

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