I read a story in the NY Times today about this band, which is playing locally tonight or tomorrow or both. I’d never heard of them, but the story represents them as a modern and relatively popular punk band, so it got my curiosity up. Certainly some of the few modern rock bands I like, Fucked Up foremost, really are punky.
So I was just digging around on YouTube and heard some interesting stuff, but I wouldn’t call it punk and I wasn’t digging the style. And I have to admit, this one didn’t catch me at first, but it’s a duet and I liked the woman singing and kept listening. She is Tegan Quin of the duo Tegan and Sara, who are alt-rock favorites in recent years. And as I listened I got caught up in the drumming and the interchange of the vocals, and the somewhat soft guitars stopped bothering me as much.
I may or may not ever play this again, it’s a little slick for my tastes, but it’s worth a listen if only just for the drums. And I’m going to dig further into the Tegan and Sara catalog. There is pleasure there in her voice.
There is also the reason why the Times was writing up Against Me! at this point. It seems that Tom Gabel, the band’s singer when this record, New Wave, (produced by Butch Vig, by the way) was released in 2007, has long had gender dysphoria, and last year started hormone therapy to transition from male to female. At the band’s shows now he presents as a woman, and goes by the name Laura Jane Grace. What’s curious to me is that the Wikipedia entry for this album identifies the lead singer as Laura Jane Grace rather than Tom Gabel. Can that be right?
I don’t care personally, but watching this video and then reading about the dude as Laura Jane Grace seemed confusing.