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Against Me – “Transgender Dsyphoria Blues”: A Review

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Hello everyone! For those of you who don’t know who I am my name is Charles Campbell. I am one of the new contributors to Geek Juice Media and music is my main focus. While I’ll be mainly focusing on delivering news from the music world, I’ll also be delivering album reviews for you all at least once a week. What kind of album reviews you ask? Well, it’s going to be whatever album I feel like talking about that week. The thing with music is it kind of changes with me depending on my mood, the weather, or even what season we are in. If it’s raining I might throw on a Grateful Dead album and just relax, or if it’s the fall I might throw on a Misfits album knowing Halloween is right around the corner and I need a little horror rock in my life. That’s the great thing about music though. It speaks to you more than any other media out there. It can cheer you up when you are feeling down, or it helps you take out all your anger when your boss decides to be a total dick to you.

Before I get started with the album review itself, I just want to do a little housekeeping about these reviews so everyone knows. The first thing is I won’t be taking requests for reviews. I know that sounds kind of dickish, ok it’s a lot dickish, but the fact is I have my personal tastes just like everyone else and with music it’s a little more defined. If I told you I would review an album you requested and I ended up hating it you would be pissed wouldn’t you?  I can already tell you I don’t like a lot of pop music and country is just out of the question. I’ll mainly be focusing on the rock side of things. Second, I will not be doing scores for the albums. Why? I want people to judge the albums for themselves. If I gave an album a score and you go to listen to it you’ll expect at least that four star quality, but again, everyone has different tastes. I just want to introduce people to albums that they may have missed over the years or have never even heard of. With all that out of the way let’s get to what I’ve been waiting to talk about since I started writing this, transgenders!

Ok, let me back up for a second here. The album I’ll be talking about here is “Transgender Dysphoria Blues,” the most recent album from Against Me. Exploding on the scene in 2002 with their fantastic, and funny titled, “Reinventing Axl Rose,” Against Me are a band that have wonderfully combined the fast paced playing of punk with a twist of folk rock for some extra flavor. In 2012, after meeting with a transgender fan of the band, Thomas Gabel, guitarist and singer, came out as a transgender woman himself. The punk community soon became extremely supportive of Gable, who knew this announcement was going to be tough for those close to him. To complete this announcement Gable told everyone he will no longer be known as Thomas Gable, but will now be known as Laura Jane Grace. The band was also extremely supportive of Grace and Grace herself stated that Against Me was not done, going on to say “However fierce our band was in the past, imagine me, six-foot-two, in heels, fucking screaming into someone’s face.”

That brings me to the 2014 album “Transgender Dysphoria Blues.” To put it simply, this album is a fierce piece of music. The entirety of this album is nothing but the emotions that Grace had to go through with the announcement. It begins with the title track “Transgender Dysphoria Blues” a song which builds up the theme and emotions with a head of steam. Grace use to be a guy, but now is girl, and you better fucking deal with it. You might not like her life choice, but it was hers not yours. The song itself tells the listeners that you won’t please everyone. “You want them to see you like they see every other girl. All they see is a faggot. They’ll hold their breath not to catch the sick.” This lyric is the line that sums up pretty much the entire album. The thing is that Grace doesn’t care. She is singing about her feelings to those listening as if she wants them to be who they are. Don’t be afraid of the world. Let them see you for who you and if they don’t like then they can go fuck themselves.

Next track on the album is “True Trans Soul Rebel,” a pretty dark song about the absolute low that could happen to someone who is transsexual, abandonment. While the subject matter of the song is tough, Grace sings it in a way that lets you know there is always someone out there for you. This is my second favorite song on the album and if anyone wants to sample the album, this is a track to check out.

The album continues with a full head of steam with songs like “Unconditional Love,” “Osama Bin Laden as The Crucified Christ,” and “FUCKMYLIFE666.” I would honestly love to talk about every song on this album but I want to get to one particular song. “Black Me Out,” the closing song, is my favorite track on the album by far. It starts off with a slow, low key guitar, which kind of reminds me of a Bruce Springsteen song, but then Grace starts singing. The song is one giant fuck you song and the angriest one on the album. “I don’t want to see the world that way anymore. I don’t want to feel that weak and insecure. As if you were my fucking pimp, as I was your fucking whore.”  The best part is it’s also one of the catchiest songs on the album. It’s an anthem for anyone who just wanted to tell someone to get out of our lives. It’s a perfect song in my opinion and is an absolutely fantastic closer for an absolutely fantastic album.

In the end I cannot recommend this album enough. While It’s about one man’s transformation to a woman, yet can speak to everyone. On a deeper level the album is about what it’s like to feel alone in the world, but there is always someone out there for you. You might have problems you think no one can help you with, but it can be helped. It can always be helped. Thank you for reading this, and until next time, keep those records spinning.

About The Author
Charles Campbell
Charles Campbell
I listen to music, write about music, and complain about new music...mostly.
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