Posted: November 2, 2018 in Classic Albums, MUSIC
Tags: , , ,

After releasing her memoir, Tranny: Confessions of Punk Rock’s Most Infamous Anarchist Sellout and Against Me!’s 2016 LP, Shape Shift With Me, Laura Jane Grace decided to put out her first record under the name Laura Jane Grace & the Devouring Mothers. Bought To Rot is unlike anything she’s ever released with Against Me!

It embraces pop and alt-rock conventions as much as it does punk—a press release even namedrops the record’s Tom Petty influence. The result is an immensely liberating album that couldn’t care less what you think of it. There are still undertones of despondent angst and self-doubt, but it feels like a largely optimistic record, one that basks in the moment and bursts at the seams with momentous punk elation. “Born in Black” is a robust, throttling take on existentialism and mortality, while the uplifting punk of “Apocalypse Now (& Later)” is a rush of unwavering confidence, camaraderie and earth-shattering joy.

How best to describe Laura Jane Grace’s latest endeavor? “It’s a solo album, except that it’s not,” the Against Me! frontwoman wrote in an announcement on Twitter. Though her main band isn’t going anywhere, Grace has said she sought an artistic “blank slate” following the outfit’s 2016 album Shape Shift With Me. But she’s not in it alone — Grace made the record, under the name Laura Jane Grace & the Devouring Mothers, with Against Me! bassist Atom Willard and producer Marc Hudson, who also worked on Shape Shift. (Fellow AM! guitarist James Bowman even shows up one track.) Regardless of its name or packaging, the record is yet another outlet for Grace’s boundless creativity, which she often strikes at the most inconvenient times: “I sleep with a notebook next to me in bed,” she said recently . “And most nights I sleep with my guitar next to me.”

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