Published Sep 14, 2016For their seventh album, Against Me! stuck with the abrasive punk approach of Transgender Dysphoria Blues, but brought back a bit more of the pop element that they do so well that their last album ignored. Look no further than the excellent "Crash" for the best example of that: the band always sound best when they're dangerous yet radio-ready, on this song doing all that while rocking like '70s KISS filtered through the slickest of Against Me! tunes. It rules, and is hands down the best song they've written in years.
The album isn't all poppy though, and the aggression is definitely still there: crazed opener "ProVision L-3" barely even sounds like Against Me!, coming across more like raging hardcore. Balance comes quick though, as second cut "12:03" is positively White Crosses, and positively great. "Delicate, Petite & Other Things I'll Never Be" is a moody and angry mid-album slow-burn, "333" delivers a catchy Against Me! chorus for the ages and "All This (And More_" is a great melodic punk closer. Both "Norse Truth" and "Suicide Bomber" grate more than please, but much like the songs on the last album that initially grated (hello, "Osama Bin Laden as the Crucified Christ"), smart money says that they'll eventually worm their way into listeners' hearts.
This is a winner, another great release from a band that, really, has no problem delivering great albums. Shape Shift with Me occupies a perfect middle ground between their last two discs, and that's a very special, and unique, place to be. (Total Treble)