File Under: Alt-Country, Adult Urban Contemprary, Folk Punk
Before I get started, I should probably clarify that while I had never heard Dyke Drama before this past week, I was familiar with singer Sadie Switchblade’s other project, Girls Living Outside of Society’s Shit (or G.L.O.S.S. for short). That band is comprised of members of the LBTGQ community, with songs striving to dismantle prejudice and bigotry against said community. But while GLOSS is a fast, angry ensemble hardcore punk band, I didn’t know what to expect from Switchblade herself. The answer: something incredibly powerful and unique.
Lyrically Up Against The Bricks deals mainly with feelings of isolation and loneliness, but contrasted by Switchblade’s upbeat and joyful delivery, an unexpected layer of hope slips through. These aren’t songs aimed exclusively at a transgender audience; these are songs aimed at humans, pointing out that we still have a lot of work to do when it comes to equality.
These are by and large songs about the human experience. Love songs. Sad songs. Youth anthems. Switchblade’s cover of Lucinda Williams’ “I Just Wanted To See You So Bad,”although more upbeat and punky, remains true to the original, and furthermore continues to prove that love is love.
The best song on the album lyrically is “Cis Girls,” when Sadie sings “You say I’m second to none, a cut above the rest / You say I’m second to none– / but I’m still second to one, / One of those girls.” Without saying very much, she says everything. (A cisgendered individual is one whose gender falls in line with their assigned sex.)
The most powerful song on the album is the closer, “Some Days I Load My Gun,” an acoustic track that just rips my heart right out. With a looser, more intimate, isolated feel, the emotion comes through tenfold on lines like “It’s not that I want to die / it just gets so old staying alive.” But the kicker is the organ that appears at the end just as Sadie bellows the question “is there anyone?”
Highlights include: “Say When,” “Cis Girls,” “Crying In A Bathroom Stall,” and “Some Days I Load My Gun”
You can listen to Up Against The Bricks here.
Going on a blind date with Up Against The Bricks: