Transgender Dysphoria Blues has been a lifetime in the making for Against Me! frontwoman Laura Jane Grace and on the cusp of its release, it looks to be the band’s best material to date. The album sees the group ditching the blend of punk and powerpop that was apparent on 2010’s White Crosses and trading it in for a rawer sound more familiar to their earlier material. With such provocative titles such as ‘FuckMyLife666’ and ‘Osama Bin Laden as the Crucified Christ’, it’s clear that Transgender Dysphoria Blues was not made with radio plays in mind and is going to be a painstakingly honest benchmark in Grace’s writing.
This album has been crafted through an internal struggle from the fears and hurdles that frontwoman Laura Jane Grace has had to overcome in her public transition as a transgender woman, as well as detailing the agitation of coming out in the title track (“You want them to see you like they see every other girl/They just see a faggot”) and the grappling anxiety of gender dysphoria in ‘True Trans Soul Rebel’ (“Once you were born, you were already dead/You sleep with a gun beside you in bed”). Following a number of delays and several line-up changes, Transgender Dysphoria Blues has been set for release 21 January 2014 and although it clocks in at just under 29 minutes, it’s clear from the live performances of new tracks that a lot of the fat has been trimmed to make this the band’s hardest hitting material to date.