Against Me! will release its much-anticipated sixth full-length studio album titled Transgender Dysphoria Blues on Tuesday, January 21 on their own label, Total Treble (Resist Records will release in Australia). Transgender Dysphoria Blues is the intense follow-up to the band’s previous full-length album, White Crosses, and stands as another major benchmark for the band and its career spanning 10+ years.
Recorded at Studio 606, Earth Sound Studio, Motor Studio, Total Treble Studio and mixed by Billy Bush (Garbage, Muse, Tegan and Sara), Transgender Dysphoria Blues is an insightful and highly-provocative 10-song offering written by frontwoman Laura Jane Grace, whose material examines one’s grappling with gender dysphoria, the loss of a young friend and pure self discovery, as well as love and ultimate acceptance. Featuring Grace’s signature, explicit songwriting and dominant vocals, the album also features longtime guitarist/vocalist James Bowman, drummer Atom Willard and Fat Mike of NOFX on bass for “FUCKMYLIFE666” and “Unconditional Love.”
Transgender Dysphoria Blues will be supported with a full North American tour in 2014. Details to be released soon.
From its explosive, opening violin line, The Garden demands your full attention with a rhetorical challenge that makes you want to hold your head a little higher: "Who told you to give up on the garden?" Loss, recovery, survival, and hope take center stage in the title track, and then wind their way through all 11 songs in this defiant collection. Thematically grandiose? A bit. But disarmingly genuine at the same time, as is the hallmark of this band that has honed an uncanny ability to write inspirational anthems with a sense of humor that keeps them
believable. Indie rock irony is finally dead and The Shondes offer a potent
alternative. Rousing and raucous, sincere and spirited, this is what happens when the legacies of Bikini Kill and Bruce Springsteen join forces in Brooklyn's hardest-working band.
When powerhouse vocalist Louisa Rachel Solomon sings "I need a dream for right now" (Nights Like These), you believe her. The line doesn't come off as a pop cliché, but instead as an honest plea on an album that unapologetically dreams of a brighter future, and convinces you to take it seriously. Says
Solomon, "If there's one thing I learned from Riot Grrrl when I was really young, it's that you shouldn't censor your sorrow, rage, and joy in your songs... even if you're afraid it'll sound super cheesy." And so The Shondes invite you and your cheesy feelings in, too. The Garden is, after all, all of ours, a well-worn
metaphorical landscape that the band embraces to its fullest populist potential.
Nothing More Whole Than a Broken Heart is a fist-pumping paean to growing up, and borrows its refrain from a Yiddish proverb (befitting a band whose
moniker is Yiddish for "disgraces"). Solomon explains "The Garden is an album about the kind of growing up you do over and over again." And indeed, the band's fourth outing seems emblematic of fully coming into their own.
Described by Producer Tony Maimone (founding member of seminal
experimental rock band Pere Ubu) as "a band of scrappers," they have certainly fought for their recognition, building a devoted fanbase over eight years on the road, reliably offering their sweat and heartfelt emotion up night after night.
The Garden, recorded at Brooklyn's Studio G, may finally be the album that
captures the signature live energy that makes this band so special to their fans.
Peter Ames Carlin says "The Garden has the same wild finesse and seething
humanity of the Shondes' earlier work -- except now it sounds better than
ever....These power-punk-whip-smart- Brooklynites are the real thing, and then some." The album's photography was shot by iconic rock photographer Frank Stefanko, best known for his portraits of Patti Smith and Bruce Springsteen (including the beloved covers of The River and Darkness on the Edge of Town). Stefanko says The Garden "takes hold and sticks with you," a vote of confidence The Shondes were honored to receive.