MUSIC GEEK: Against Me! – Transgender Dysphoria Blues
I’ve got my headphones on right now, it is early morning right now, its just me and the music.
I wanted to write an album review my own way
and not in the way that SPIN, Pitchfork, Rolling Stone and Noisey do it.
I don’t care for those kinds of reviews.
I absolutely adore this album
and I have so much fucking respect for Laura Jane Grace.
So, this ‘review’ is just me writing along to the album,
I have the album playing and I am going to write about what each song means to me
and what kind of imagery comes to mind when listening along to it.
This is a track by track commentary.
Transgender Dysphoria Blues
“You want them to notice,
The ragged ends of your summer dress.
You want them to see you
Like they see every other girl.
They just see a faggot.
They’ll hold their breath not to catch the sick.“
The opening song and title of the album, this song packs so much punch.
I really love the opening drums, a perfect way to kick off the album.
An honest in-your-face-punk-as-fuck anthem- Laura Jane Grace’s vocals just bleed with emotion.
This is what punk rock is, or what is SHOULD be, this is raw.
Times are changing (whether for good or worse, or anywhere in between)
and we need more music like this to challenge the status-quo.
This is revolutionary music.
True Trans Soul Rebel
The 2nd track off of TDB, the intro with those swift guitars just soar.
This is a song I find myself going back to over and over again lately.
The story it tells, the tragedies of life, the weight one can carry inside.
While still carrying on, still fighting, despite the low blows of an ugly life.
The low blows of consequence, the battle that always rages on from within.
There never is a certainty of a good life, but there is always light.
Even during your darkest hour of need.
Despite the low blows of life, you pick yourself up, even when all you feel is doubt.
Its an ugly life, but you make do, because sometimes thats all you can really do.
Even if all you want to do is just let go. You carry on.
“Yet to be born, you were already dead,
You sleep with a gun beside you in bed.
You follow through to the obvious end:
Slit your veins wide open,
You bleed it out.“
A cynical snotty FUCK OFF ode to love. I think we’ve all had moments like this with someone.
Especially when it is with someone that you can’t stop thinking about.
You love em, you hate em, you know you both aren’t good for each either.
But you still throw yourself into the ring, self hatred an all.
The sex is great but nothing else is.
“Even if your love was unconditional, it still wouldn’t be enough to save me“
Drinking With The Jocks
Self-destructive and not afraid of burning up in the atmosphere.
Making a fool out of yourself, being someone you don’t want to be.
But you do it anyway.
This is one of my favorites from this album.
All the macho jock types, disguised as punks, rebels, jumping around, starting fights for the sake of fucking shit up.
Fast, visceral, punk as fuck delivery- lets-go-fuck-in-the-bathroom-stall while the band plays loud
inside this run down piece of shit bar.
Maybe we’ll die tonight, who cares.
Just as long as I don’t end up trapped here, like those sad fuckers out there.
Acting like they have something to prove.
“All my life. Wishing I was one of them. There will always be a difference between me and you.“
Osama Bin Laden As The Crucified Christ
This one would make a great single.
A wonderful song to crank all the way up, Laura sounds so fucking aggressive on this.
This song just fucking rocks, simple as that, turn it up LOUD.
“What’s the best that you can hope for?
A blind-fold and a ball-gag?
Burnt out eyes, grotesque beauty
A nail through the feet and a nail though the hands“
This one was performed on David Letterman, and man oh man
was it wonderfully executed (youtube it).
This is one of the deeper cuts off the album.
Talking about doesn’t give it justice.
Grace’s vocals are so deep, soaring alongside those guitars.
This one is a personal favorite.
Listening to this one, a lot of imagery comes to mind.
The harshness of reality, a mirror shattered, broken glass.
A damaged heart trying to put the pieces back together again.
“I don’t have the heart to match
The one pricked into your finger
This too will soon slip out of reach
This too will soon come to an end“
(Official Lyric Video)
An upbeat sound, lamented words.
Looking at the days of yesterday.
The ghost of you used to be.
Times have changed.
Haunted, even years after you said goodbye to an old friend.
The ghost of yesterday always coming around.
“She waits for you to haunt her,
She sleeps with your ghost at night in bed.
When you died, you were only twenty-six,
The most real person that I’ve ever met.“
I feel that the last three songs on the album are the most hard-hitting emotionally
And that says a lot because this whole album is an experience.
It differs for everyone.
This song rips me up on the inside, this was the first song
off this album that I had on repeat.
It left me in awe.
There is a calmness here that you wish would never end.
“All the things I have yet to lose will someday be gone too.
Back into annihilation.
All things will fade, maybe it’s better off that way.
I wish you’d stay with me.“
I am torn between this one and Black Me Out as my favorite from TDB.
This song just hits me like a ton of bricks, this hits me on every emotional level.
Laura’s vocals just tear me up, this song is a masterpiece, in every aspect.
3 minutes and 12 seconds of gut-wrenching rock and roll.
“Spread out face down on those stained cheap hotel sheets
She spent the last years of her life running from the boy she used to be
Cut her face wide open
Shaved the bone down then pumped her lips up exaggerated
A fucked up kind of feminine“
Black Me Out
My favorite from this album (next to Paralytic States), what a perfect song to end
an album that packs so much raw emotion from beginning to end.
This is rock and roll at its finest, I can’t help but want to scream along
to this one every time I play it.
This song resonates so much with me.
With all the shit that life can throw at you.
Sometimes you just want to scream.
This is punk rock at its finest, at its best.
Growing up as a Queer punk, and having had to deal with a lot of bullshit
There are days when I just want to say fuck it to everything
And its music like this that lifts my spirit up whenever self doubt pays me a visit.
Its music like this that helps me get back up and carry on.
“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.
Black me out.“
This is one hell of an album, from beginning to end.
I highly recommend it, it is truly an amazing experience.
I really can’t fully describe just how much this album has impacted me.
This is the best rock album that I’ve heard in a long time.
Its Rock and Roll at its fucking finest.
Turn it up.