I fuckin’ love this album.
I love the bare nerve endings that are on display, the raw power of its brutal honesty, the unflinching challenge to what is perceived as the norm, the unapologetic public lancing of a lifetime of pain and confusion, and I love how it provides an alternative voice within a genre of music that can often pander to a jock mentality.
Today, right now, right this very minute, Laura Jane Grace is my heroine.
Over recent years the critical voices of the mainstream music press have managed to strip emotion from pretty much every single word that is written.
No one may dare say how much they love a song, or how it impacts on them, or how it makes them feel.
It’s seen as uncool.
It is something that has to be avoided at all costs.
Everything is judged from a distance and the emotional tactile nuances of music are ignored.
Well I have to say fuck that.
Seriously, I mean fuck that, because the honesty displayed on this album deserves an honest response.
It can’t be wrapped in a discussion about chord changes and it has to be reacted to in a similar manner to how it was written and performed, and the response should be from the gut.
After all we are all in this game together, and we all feel, and we can all empathize, and we can all love, and we can all want to be accepted as the person we are, and that is fundamentally what this album is about.
It’s about living, breathing and existing.
It is about the abrasive journey we are all on.
It is about the need to be seen as a worthwhile person who can be loved.
It is the outsider opening up and letting everyone see how damaging it is to be held at arm’s length, passionately sharing how hurtful it is to exist on the fringes because society embraces strict parameters that keep them locked out, and pushing that into the faces of people should be lauded.
Here I am, a forty something who is creeping ever closer to cashing in on a half century chip, a heterosexual father of two, and for all the differences that there may appear to be between a transgender person and myself I feel an affinity to the message expressed and the questions asked.
I fundamentally get it as Laura Jane Grace is the bearer of truths.
There is a right and a wrong aspect to it all to.
Is it right to create a word where transgender people are fair game for hate to be spewed in the direction of?
Of course not, and what close minded arsehole can ever defend hate.
So far the punk word have embraced this release, and rightly so to.
Just as US birthed pop punk was edging every closer to being a parody of itself here we have Against Me! saving the day, even if it was unintentional on their part.
In opening herself up like this to the world I hope that the biographical content touches others and in some way opens the doors to a future that accepts transgendered people with open arms.
I'm going to say it again.
I fuckin' love this album.