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RECORD REWIND- Revisiting Against Me!’s Shape Shift With Me


If you have been following Against Me! over the last decade, you know that their musical evolution leading up to 2016’s Shape Shift With Me is one to admire. Laura Jane Grace got it right when she wrote the lyrics to “12:03“, singing “I’ve made a lot of miles this year/But the miles don’t mean much when they always circle me back to you.”

Shape Shift With Me was released on September 16, 2016. The title stems from a lyric in their song “Norse Truth” (my personal favourite track on the album). While 2014’s Transgender Dysphoria Blues focused more on self-identity, discovery and confrontation, Shapeshift takes a step back and pushes into a brutally honest perspective on personal relationships.

The lyrics to “Rebecca” stood out to me on my first listen through the album. With lines like “We don’t have to fall in love/We can just have fun” and “Want you to hit me like a bus/And then I’ll get right the fuck back up/Step out in front of the next coming one” it felt as though nearly every millennial could relate to this scenario. You meet a cool person and have a no-strings-attached relationship. Everything is great and you’re having fun, until…BOOM- feelings? (What am I supposed to do with those?)

SSWMContinuing with the theme of painfully relatable songs, “Boyfriend” takes it up another level. Have you ever been in a relationship where you’ve felt used, or as if they only want you when it’s convenient for them? This song delves into just that. Laura spitefully sings “Lie to me” throughout the song, and backs up her rage with lyrics like “Of all the reasons to feel hateful, you’re the best of them.” Full of resentment, she bitterly sings “Treating me like a boyfriend/Some dumb fucking boyfriend.”

The first time I listened to “Norse Truth”, it instantly became my favourite song on the album. All of the songs are fantastic and absolutely stand their own, but there is something about “Norse Truth” that I am still very excited about. Laura takes a different approach with her vocals on this song. Rather than singing, a majority of the song is viciously spoken-word- and I am so about it. Her forceful voice matches up perfectly with merciless lyrics like “We used to be cocaine and Xanax/Now a kiss isn’t worth the lipstick” and “All the places that we never went/All the times we never had/I want them back now/I want them all back.” Two words- God. Damn.

When it comes to Against Me!, that classic D.I.Y rawness that makes them so special is always at the root of every single album, song and performance. No matter which musical avenues Against Me! ventures down, that classic sound unique to them is consistent in some way or another.

Shape Shift With Me stands out against all the B.S going on in the world, and I am thankful for the refuge this album provides.

Did you love Shape Shift With Me?

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Kelsey Coles
About me

Kelsey is a recent journalism graduate just trying to find her place in the scary world of post-college life. She currently is the assistant manager at a Toronto tattoo shop and writes in her free time. While she tries her best to live life like Ferris Bueller, she ends up being more like Cameron Frye in the process.

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