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Album Review: Bought to Rot by Laura Jane Grace and the Devouring Mothers

Laura Jane Grace & the Devouring Mothers released their debut album Bought To Rot on 9th November via Bloodshot Records. The band are Laura Jane Grace, Atom Willard, and Marc Jacob Hudson. Grace is a musician, author, and activist best known as the founder, lead singer, songwriter, and guitarist of the punk rock band Against Me! Willard, also of Against Me!, is a drummer who has played in iconic punk bands such as Rocket from the Crypt, Social Distortion, and The Offspring. Devouring Mothers bassist Hudson is a recordist and mixer at Rancho Recordo, a recording studio and creative space in the woods of Michigan, and the sound engineer for Against Me!

14 tracks spanning Grace’s fractured relationship with her adopted hometown of Chicago, true friendship, complicated romance, and reconciling everything in the end. Inspired in large part by Full Moon Fever, the first album Grace ever owned, Bought to Rot finds her at the same age Petty was when he created his solo debut masterpiece. In light of his recent passing, Grace was motivated to pay homage to one of her lifelong heroes.

Undoubtedly the most diverse album Grace has penned, it’s a refreshing and thoroughly enjoyable listen. Although it has a punk ethos at its heart, it is decidedly different to Against Me! and that’s to be expected – surely, that’s the point of a solo album. This is more of slow burning rock number, it’s toned down and brooding. The punk sound mainly comes from Grace’s unique vocal.

This is a rock album of the highest standard and structured with aplomb. It flows wonderfully with each track complementing each other perfectly. There’s an immediate energy and genuine relatable edge to the life-experience tales that make you fall in love with the album.

Listen to it as an album, take each track in and enjoy it fully. The triple header of ‘Screamy Dreamy’, ‘Manic Depression’ and ‘The Acid Test Song’ won’t be bettered this year. Essential listening.

AD Rating 8.5/10

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