Against Me!’s newest release shows earned longevity, praise

Category:  The Arts
Wednesday, September 28th, 2016 at 6:15 PM
Against Me!’s newest release shows earned longevity, praise by Dakota Palmer
Album artwork for Shape Shift with Me

Punk rock band Against Me! recently released its seventh studio album, titled “Shape Shift with Me.” The album was released through Total Treble Music, which is the recording label lead vocalist Laura Jane Grace founded herself.

Additionally, nearly all of the songs on the album were written by Grace, which proves that her songwriting ability is truly out of this world.

The album received a rating of 79 out of 100 on Metacritic, but I think it could be worth much more, showing that the band’s talent definitely shines through this album. Unlike many contemporary bands, Against Me! hasn’t changed its sound a whole lot since its first album, “Reinventing Axl Rose.” A lot of the band’s songs are angsty tunes with lyrics shouted by Grace, but the band has made it work over the past 13 years.

The newest album has a lot of standout hits; so much so that it’s very difficult to try and pick the best from the album. The band kicks off the album with the song “ProVision L-3.” This song is the epitome of a hard rock song with a guitar riff, drum pattern and lyrics screamed, which can make one think it’s a song from The Offspring. This song gets you pumped up for the rest of the hardcore album.

The next song, titled “12:03,” has as much ferocity and fire as “ProVision L-3,” but with more comprehensible and sensible lyrics. The song is about someone who keeps getting pulled back, waiting for a person to treat them right, but then they realize that they need to stay away from the person. It’s a perfect, angry break-up song, or just a fun song to scream along to in the car.

Later in the album we have “Dead Rats.” This song is just as crazy as the title would lead you to believe. Once again, we have a lot of angry Grace, but she plays the part of angry so well. This song is a little calmer than “12:03,” but it’s still definitely a head banger.

Finally, we conclude the album with the song “All This (And More),” which is a great jam to end the record with. It’s probably one of the most tame songs on the album, with very little screaming, but still has a lot of emotion packed into the guitar riffs and lyrical phrases.

The album comes two years after the band’s last album, “Transgender Dysphoria Blues.” The album was certainly done correctly and well worth the two year wait. Grace’s lyrics convey her emotions perfectly. There are few bands who can barely evolve their musical style and still remain current, yet Against Me! has done this perfectly. Although the band does angry and angsty quite well, I can honestly say this album is a great listen for all occasions and emotions.

If you’re a new Against Me! listener, definitely check this album out. If you’re a longtime fan, still check this album out.

Standout tracks: “12:30,” “Boyfriend” and “Dead Rats.” 

Dakota Palmer is the voices editor for The Spectator. She can be reached at

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