by Zac Lomas, edited by Erik van Rheenen
Every Against Me! fan, as well as the punk community at large, has eagerly awaited the release of new music from the Gainesville punk outfit since Tom Gabel became Laura Jane Grace. With full-length Transgender Dysphoria Blues slated to come out in the upcoming months we get True Trans, a single featuring two acoustic versions of songs anticipated to be fleshed out on the LP.
Unlike previous Against Me! releases, True Trans is not overtly political; it’s not situated on a broad political spectrum between Democrat and Republican, Liberal and Conservative. Instead, it transcends these petty classifications, occupying itself inside an American culture that is inherently transphobic. While punk grew around its rich history of transgender artists (see The New York Dolls or Jayne County), this thread has been missing from subsequent generations of punk bands, which is where Grace and Against Me! come in. This album (and the follow-up LP) is going to push transgender issues into a musical limelight that they have never experienced before.
Political message aside, this duo of acoustic tracks prove that regardless of recent life events, Grace’s natural songwriting abilities are timeless. “FuckMyLife666” seems to take its title from the single’s black metal-esque cover art, but rests solidly on a singular acoustic guitar riff and Grace’s accompanying voice. Grace sings about the difficulties of revealing her true identity to not only the world, but her family too. She also asserts the relief that comes with embracing herself as a woman, singing “No more sleepless nights, there’s a brave new world raging inside me.”