Photo Credit: Raymond Flotat
Against Me! will release their seventh album, Shape Shift With Me, on September 16. Single “333,” which debuted last year on stage, was part of a series of three pre-releases to debut their new album. The latest record is succeeding Transgender Dysphoria Blues, an emotional LP since frontwoman Laura Jane Grace – formerly frontman Tom James Gabel – came out as transgender. The LP centered on a self-destructive girl in a boy’s body, with aggressive tracks that cut deep on issues of identity.
The debut of their new album coincides with Grace’s physical memoir Tranny: Confessions of Punk Rock’s Most Infamous Anarchist Sellout. The book recounts growing up with dysphoria and playing in our generation’s most influential punk band, with journal entries she’s kept since childhood.
“Tons of people have written about love. But while love is cliché, it’s infinitely relevant. For me, having always been in a punk band that was expected to be political, I never felt like I had that option to write about feelings in that way. That’s what I ended up being drawn to this time,” Laura says. Grace continues, “There’s been an infinite amount of records talking about what love means from a cisgender perspective. I wanted to present the trans perspective on sex, love and heartbreak.”
The video for “333” directed by Ione Sky, is set tacitly in a period evocative of the 1960s. Natasha Lyonne plays a suburban housewife alongside emotionally removed husband, Andrew Howard. When Lyonne is left alone by herself, she seems to experience symptoms of psychosis and phantasms. Her character is restless with the incessant cleaning and unceasing desire to pick at what seems broken. Natasha’s character vaguely parallels Grace’s personal battles with depression
With the heavy sounds of guitar, you can hear Laura’s frustration is pounding, haunting. The piercing vocals against the collision of the percussion are a beautiful marriage that utter influence of cry punk metal. Fans of Against Me! have expressed their anticipation of the album since the preview of “333,” a great preview of what’s to arrive.