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Album Review

Against Me! – 23 Live Sex Acts

Against Me! 23 Live Sex Acts

This album captures that experience in a wonderful snapshot that you’ll happily play on repeat.

Label: Xtra Mile Recordings
Released: 4th September 2015

Rating: ★★★★

“We’re gonna fuck shit up tonight!” chants Laura Jane Grace as Against Me! launch into ‘I Was A Teenage Anarchist’. Given that she recently turned a random coffee shop in London into the setting for a life-affirming acoustic show, and then took it out onto a humble London street, where the world looked on in envy, it’s an unsurprising mission statement for their shows.

They’ve got a little bit of everything: a set that focuses heavily on their latest ‘Transgender Dysphoria Blues’ but peppers the remainder with career-spanning choices, a sheer delight for fans.

Where songs like ‘True Trans Soul Rebel’ stand out on record as truly important lyrically, shrouded with a massive chorus and powerful cries of “Does God bless your transsexual heart?”, ’23  Live Sex Acts’ brings them new life with snippets of Grace’s between-song chat, introductions to songs, and live passion. ‘New Wave’ sees the show stop abruptly as security appear to try throw out someone for having a good time; Grace calls for no smiles, no enjoyment. “Let’s just cut our losses,” she laughs, moving on to the next song.

The reason people go and see the same bands time and time again is that the experience can transcend that of listening to the album; these settings create memories from people united in celebrating the same music. Hearing the chat, the euphoric cheers, the blemishes in a live setting, it makes the feeling tangible. Against Me! sadly don’t tour by your house every day, but this captures that experience in a wonderful snapshot that you’ll happily play on repeat. Heather McDaid