Yesterday, Against Me! released the much-anticipated Transgender Dysphoria Blues. The band's sixth full-length has the extra weight of being AM!'s first album since vocalist Tom Gabel transitioned into living visibly as a woman: Laura Jane Grace. While this is a monumental step for all concerned (including fans), it's not the first great leap forward Against Me! has pushed in its time as a band, and we're sure it won't be the last. In honor of this fabulous new record, let's take this opportunity to look back on the many stages in the career of Against Me!.
2002: "Baby, I'm An Anarchist"
At its inception, Against Me! was a dirty fucking punk rock band. Tom, Andrew, James and Warren were road warriors who traveled in a van (that kept breaking down), screamed in the faces of like-minded revolutionaries, and sweated their faces off in basements all over the world. They were a little bit... how do you say?... CRUSTY. Reinventing Axl Rose was awash with fist-pumping anthems, but few got the crowd as sentimental and affectionate as the balls-out, oft-hilarious anthem, "Baby, I'm An Anarchist." Sample lyrics: "'Cause baby, I'm an anarchist/ You're a spineless liberal/ We marched together, for the eight-hour day and held hands on the streets of Seattle/ But when it came time to throw bricks through that Starbucks window/ You left me all alone (all alone)...." Is it just us, or did it just get a little bit hot in here?
2003: "Cavalier Eternal"
Having established themselves as everyone's favorite angry punk rock band to raise a defiant fist in the pit to, Against Me! just went right on ahead in 2003 and released a record that -- while still awash with cathartic anthems, like "Cliche Guevara" and "Rice and Bread" -- contained a few seemingly out-of-character acoustic moments and, dare we say it, nods to country music. Thanks to the smart nature of sneaking these elements in on a record that was still largely in keeping with the band's debut, hardcore fans didn't mind one bit. Even punks need some twang in their lives now and again.
2005: "From Her Lips to God's Ears"
This is where shit started to get weird. Thanks to the 2004 documentary, We're Never Going Home -- which chronicled Against Me!'s time on the road, mocking glossier bands, taking advantage of the bar tabs of the major labels they were being wooed by, and ultimately staying with independent San Francisco label Fat Wreck Chords -- the release of third album, Searching For A Former Clarity, still took Against Me! out of the underground and into the nation's living rooms. Everyone's favorite band that no one else had ever heard of suddenly found themselves on late-night talk shows and the daytime lists of alt radio stations. But hey, the documentary proved the bandmates were faithful to their independent ethics and they were still yelling about the evils of the Bush Administration and Condoleezza Rice and such, so all was well... Right?