Against Me! have always created albums that have been passionate and raw. For fans, Transgender Dysphoria Blues was likely to be the most emotional yet, focusing on the transition and experiences of Laura Jane Grace. To ignore this subject would be ignorant, yet it is difficult to not focus solely on it. Transgender Dysphoria Blues would not exist were it not for Laura Jane Grace, and what a great shame that would be.

The album kicks off in typical Against Me! style, with some spectacular drums and a sense of raw vibrancy reminiscent of White Crosses’ brilliant ‘I Was A Teenage Anarchist’. Barely one minute through the first and title track, the subject of Laura’s personal evolution has already been tackled head on in typical Against Me! fashion: “You want them to see you like they see every other girl/They just see a faggot”. One of the standout tracks of the record, ‘Transgender Dysphoria Blues’ is an excellent example of emotional storytelling, whilst also highlighting the musical talent now in the band.

The entire record,­ although short at just shy of 30 minutes,­ showcases passion and spectacular songwriting. ‘Osama Bin Laden As The Crucified Christ’ is without doubt one of the heaviest and jauntiest tracks the band have ever recorded. The record is a progression from their previous White Crosses, with what appears to be a more anthemic approach to their writing (think more Gaslight Anthem­-esque). This is epitomised by ‘FuckMyLife666’, which possesses a strong bridge and rasping chorus. The record closes with the incredible ‘Black Me Out’. Although relatively simple from a musical standpoint, the track is incredibly emotive and makes the listener truly feel something, an aspect only special tracks accomplish.

There’s no hiding from the subject of the album, and that’s one of the factors making Transgender Dysphoria Blues as meaningful, fulfilling and great as it is. It may only be 30 minutes long, but you feel the passion of the music. You feel the emotion of Laura Jane Grace. That is what makes this album so unique. That is what makes Laura Jane Grace so unique. It has made Against Me! into the band they are today, and has made Transgender Dysphoria Blues their best album to date.

[rating:4.5]

Transgender Dysphoria Blues comes out 21st January, and can be now ordered on iTunes.