Thrash Unreal

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Songfacts®:

  • One of Against Me!'s most popular songs, in this one frontman Tom Gabel (Laura Jane Grace after his transition) sings about a girl who spends much of her youth partying in clubs, which continues into her adulthood as she becomes a drug addict. Against Me! started in 1997 when Gabel was just 17, and he's seen many people who enjoy this lifestyle and what happens to them when they get older. As he points out, "No mother ever dreams that her daughter's going to grow up to be a junkie."
  • In our 2010 interview with lead singer Tom Gabel, we asked if his songs were getting more melodic over time. Gabel explained: "I think the melody has always been there, we're not a grind-core band, I just think that the melody has become more pronounced as we've gotten more adept at recording and there's a lot more harmonies on this album than previous albums, which I think really brings that out. Go back and listen to a song like 'S--t Stroll' off of our first self released cassette tape, Vivida-Vis, tell me those 'Na, Na, Na's' are any different than the 'ba, ba, ba's' in 'Thrash Unreal' off of New Wave."
  • The title doesn't appear in the lyrics. "Thrash Unreal" is something their producer Butch Vig came up with. Vig produced the Nirvana album Nevermind and also did Against Me!'s next album, White Crosses.
  • The line, "She can still hear that rebel yell just as loud as it was in 1983, you know," references the song "Rebel Yell" by Billy Idol, which was released in 1983 and is about a passionate one night stand with a woman who wants "more more more." >>
    Suggestion credit:
    Bertrand - Paris, France

Comments: 1

  • Maggie from Houston, TxThis song has always had a very deep meaning to me, and I felt it was very obvious. It's about how women are told to be a certain way by society: women are raised to be mothers and wives. Here you have a woman who has lived an unconventional life. No woman is really actually able to reach the stereotypical norm that we are placed into by society--although these norms have been set hundreds of years ago in society. The women who live these unconventional lives, for example, Courtney Love, Amy Winehouse, Lindsay Lohan. They are not perfect by any stretch of the mind. Are they living their lives incorrectly? Or maybe there is a bigger problem with society in that we feel that they should be thrown away?
    The chorus sings, "No mother ever dreams that her daughter's going to grow up to be a junkie." Which is recalling that ideal woman: a mother expects her daughter to be a perfect wife, a perfect mother, a beautiful woman. Again is it society's fault that they are creating a mold for a woman that she might not be able to reach within a certain time frame? Does society give up too easily on these women when they make a fall from grace? And what about their behavior is "bad?"

    Finally the song speaks about the later part of the woman's life: "There ain't no John coming over to share a bed with her and she doesn't care."
    Everyone has abandoned her in her life, she has become so lonely that her only source of human contact is the men who pay for sex with her. And now she has even grown too old for men to do that.

    The line, "Some people just aren't the type for marriage and family" is something I reflect upon myself a lot when I listen to this song.... Mostly because I wonder about it myself. You wonder if this is a decision that she made herself, or that society decided for her as a castaway.
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