Don’t cross your fingers and pray for some sort of revivalist incarnation of Against Me in 2014. Sure, the lineup has changed and Tom Gabel has undergone a nearly complete transformation. Yet, Against Me is still one of the smartest modern punk rock and roll bands in America, and Laura Jane Grace layers a fresh perspective over the raw power of Transgender Dysphoria Blues.
The music is sharp and polished but stylishly avoids the sheer flashbulb grin of 2007’s New Wave. There’s an agenda here, accompanied by real deal story telling akin to the infamous David Bowie. Laura is the elephant in the room, and it wouldn’t work any other way.
“Drinking With The Jocks”, and “Osama Bin Laden As The Crucified Christ” rage with an uneven energy born from obvious discontent. At a tad under a half hour you barely have to time to make catalog comparisons. When it’s over you’re absolutely sure what you just experienced was Against Me in all its awkward glory.