Against Me! – Shape Shift With Me

Posted: December 22, 2016 in Vinyl
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Against Me! has continued to power on, releasing their – studio album in 2016. Shape Shift With Me is the band’s second album with Laura Jane Grace. And to be honest I had some concerns with her as lead vocalist going forward. Nothing bigoted or hate filled towards the transgender, I just didn’t know if her voice would change significantly enough to result in a huge sound departure from earlier Against Me albums. That it wouldn’t sound like them anymore. Personally I enjoy Shape Shift With Me more than Transgender Dysphoria Blues, and I think it’s their best album since New Wave.

Shape Shift With Me was pressed as a double LP and does not come in a gatefold jacket. Which is a bit of a disappointment. One of my pet peeves are double LPs not coming in a gatefold jacket. Primarily because if they don’t they come in those cheap, slightly larger than normal single pocket jackets. An insert is included, which has the lyrics printed on one side with the one of the characters from the cover art on the reverse side. The lyrics are printed so small on the insert they’re best read with a magnifying glass. A download card is also included, for odd 319 VBR MP3s. They’re not all at a variable bit rate, every single song is at 319 kbps and have “(VBR)” attached to the end of them. All copies also come with a white circle hype sticker affixed to the top right corner, with colored vinyl copies “limited edition color vinyl” printed on the hype sticker, but no mention of exact color. Black vinyl copies have no mention of color.

The full pressing info has not been released for this record, only three of the five variants. First off, there is a U.S. and UK/Euro pressing. The U.S. pressing was handled through the band’s label, Total Treble. The UK/Euro pressing was done by Xtra Mile Recordings. First up, Total Treble had an exclusive variant, clear, which sold out during pre-orders. Clear is limited to 1,000 copies. Next up is white, which is an indie record store exclusive and is limited to 4,000 copies. The last variant with pressing info is the Euro exclusive blue vinyl, which is limited to 500 copies. Green Hell (German distro) got 250 copies of the blue variant to sell, so it stands to reason Banquet Records (UK record store) got the other 250 copies to sell. The blue is transparent, not opaque, and is closer to a sky blue than navy blue.

On top of those three colors Shape Shift With Me is pressed on black vinyl and random mix vinyl. The random mix is a tour exclusive, and the colors I’ve seen so far are translucent purple marble, green marble, brown marble, translucent blue marble and red. And you may or may not get a matching set for the tour variant. Black is available from most distros and is the color you’ll get if you order from anywhere other than an indie record store at this point. Clear and blue are sold out. I will point out that my local record store hasn’t had copies of the indie exclusive white vinyl for months now. But with 4,000 total copies it’s entirely possible to find many record stores across the country with copies left.

One thing I will add, there may or may not be a UK/Euro pressing of the clear and white variants. Banquet Records labeled the clear as “transparent.” They also listed the “transparent” vinyl to be limited to 1,000 copies, which lines up with the U.S. pressing. Where the question arises is did Xtra Mile Recordings press 1,000 copies on clear/transparent vinyl. Same goes for the possibility of a Euro exclusive white variant. Flight 13, a German distro, was selling copies of a white variant, saying it was limited to 500 copies. I haven’t seen pictures of the UK/Euro clear/transparent or white variants to see if there is an Xtra Mile Recordings logo printed on the back of the jacket. Discogs lists Xtra Mile as the label releasing both of those variants, but Discogs is far from accurate 100% of the time. Discogs is somehow actually getting less and less reliable by the day. To add an even bigger monkey wrench into things, Laura Jane Grace said on Twitter that there is an Australian exclusive variant as well.

I’ve contacted by Total Treble and Xtra Mile Recordings about the pressing info and to date have never heard back from either of them. I’ll likely try to contact them through various channels one more time before giving up. If I do hear back from them I will update this blog post accordingly.

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