In a nice side-project from Laura Jane Grace, she has stepped away for a while from all the baggage and expectation that comes with leading Against Me!, and has instead ushered in a new project with a debut album, ‘Bought To Rot’.
The group – Laura Jane Grace & The Devouring Mothers – also consists of Against Me! drummer Atom Willard, as well as renowned producer Marc Jacob Hudson playing bass on this 14-track release, which seems to focus more on life and emotions than the battle of fighting for equality and justice which often rings throughout Against Me!‘s work.
Kicking the album off is ‘China Beach’, a very bouncy and abrasive track. With powerful bass stabs and clangy stabbing guitars during the verses, accompanied with the marching and hostile vocals, reminiscent of an old Black Flag, it’s an opener that really gets you pumped up for what’s to come.
In contrast to this, there are much different tracks on the release, such as ‘Born In Black’, ‘The Airplane Song’, and ‘Apocalypse Now (& Later)’, that all follow a much more indie approach. Whilst still including some harsher vocals, of course, these are much more straight-forward and laid back tracks.
If there’s one bone to pick from ‘Bought To Rot’, it’s that as you enter the second half of the record it all begins to all feel way too familiar and lacking in variety, leaving a desire a little more contrast. Still, it still stands as an impressive debut, and hopefully with some better footing and understanding on a follow-up, the project can realise its potential.