When Against Me! released 'Transgender Dysphoria Blues' in 2014, it brought a whole new attention to the Florida-based punk outfit. Not just because it was one of the best rock albums of the last few years, but also because it became the first record the band released since their lead singer, now known as Laura Jane Grace, came out as transgender. As a result, the record was a politically-charged affair which aimed itself solely at the ignorance and non-acceptance of society towards the transgender community. And with its similar title, 'Shape Shift With Me' looks to follow in a similar direction but without much of the anger.
'Transgender Dysphoria Blues' was clearly a therapeutic outlet for the frontwoman, but this time it seems that she has got a lot of the main issues out of her system and has opted to take on the more everyday annoyances of changing sex. And unlike the previous album, Laura Jane's personal mission doesn't sit centre stage on many of these tracks, making this album less about a statement and more about a general atmosphere surrounding tolerance.
It doesn't quite demand the same attention as many of their previous releases, but certainly has its occasional moments of brilliance. Against Me! seem to want to shake off the image of being just a transgender awareness band and this record goes a long way to create that. Still very much the core of their message, but not all they have to say.