2016 is a very important year for Against Me! And their front women Laura Jane Grace, not only are the band releasing their much anticipated seventh studio album ‘Shape Shift With Me’ through Xtra Mile Recordings on the 16th September, Laura Jane Grace is also releasing her memoir titled ‘Tranny’ on the 15th November and the book is set to be one of the most honest yet explosive books ever with Laura Jane Grace talking about everything from sex, drugs, failed marriage, music, struggles with identity and so much more.
The album ‘Shape Shift With Me’ follows 2014’s ‘Transgender Dysphoria Blues’ and 2015’s ’23 Live Sex Acts’ and the album was recorded, mixed and engineered by Marc Jacob Hudson at Rancho Recordo in Fenton, Michigan and is one of the most edgy albums Against Me! Have ever penned, gone are the political themes that Against Me! Have been covering since their formation and in comes a loose concept album about travelling the world and falling in and out of love with Laura Jane Grace serving as the narrator.
The album smashes open with the angst ridden ‘ProVision L-3’ which is a massive chant-a-long punk rock song that is so huge, aggressive and in your face that it opens the album perfectly and sets the pace and scene for the next 30minutes.
’12.03’ musically sounds like a lost song from the ‘Black Crosses’ album recording cycle and that’s good in the way that despite everything Against Me! Have gone through since their 2011 major label debut they have not forgotten about the moments and fan favourites from that era and can still pen a solid track in vain of that time period.
‘Boyfriend’ was inspired after ex Blood Brothers member Cody Voltolata sent over some demos he had been working to Laura Jane Grace and then the two of them came up with various ideas and co-wrote the quirky ‘Boyfriend’ which has Laura Jane Grace singing out “you’re treating me like boyfriend, some dumb fucking boyfriend”.
‘Crash’ is a big fun punk rock song ‘Delicate, Petite And Other Things I’ll Never Be’ is one hell of a catchy song once the infectious chorus kicks in, ‘333’ is the lead single to be taken from the album and it’s easy to see why as the song has all the elements of a classic Against Me! Song, whilst ‘Haunting, Haunted, Haunts’ is a massive sing-a-long anthem.
Some of the best tracks on the album are featured towards the end such as the angry ‘Dead Rats’ the catchy as hell ‘Rebecca’ which easily has the bets chorus on the album with Laura Jane Grace screaming out “I just want to grab you by the skull, Rebecca kiss me”, and the raw, gritty, angry ‘Norse Truth’ which is the second song on the album co-written by Cody Voltolata and is a punk rock masterpiece which is going to cause mayhem on the live scene.
When I first heard ‘Shape Shift With Me’ I was left underwhelmed and slightly confused where Against Me! Were going with the album but after sticking with it and listening to it a few more times the album started to grow on me and now after hearing the album many times over my opinion on favourite tracks change on every listen and I really can’t find a fault with the album, it is very diverse sounding features really cleaver lyrics and overall is quite psychotic in the way one minute you are listening to an upbeat song and then the next a raw in your face angst ridden anthem which is pretty epic.
Review by Trigger