“Bought to Rot” Explores a Different Side of Punk

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Meleah York, Editor-in-Chief

The new album Bought to Rot by punk band Laura Jane Grace & the Devouring Mothers was released on November 9 of this year. Frontwoman Laura Jane Grace is really out here slaying the scene and doing the most, and it’s honestly incredible to sit back and watch.

Grace formed the punk band Against Me! in 1997, leading as frontman Tom Gabel. In 2014 Grace publicly came out as a transgender woman, releasing the album Transgender Dysphoria Blues. After releasing another album in 2016, Grace put a pause on Against Me! and formed Laura Jane Grace & the Devouring Mothers.

Bought to Rot leans as more of a solo album with loose punk melodies that have a flow between them. In my brain, Against Me!’s musicality is sharper than what is heard on Bought to Rot, which is dependent on softer tones with certain sharper musical moments.

The music is raw and vulnerable. One song that definitely sticks out is I Hate Chicago, in which Grace rants about her hatred of the city, blatantly stating “Alright, Christ, you caught me/ This is actually just another divorce song”.

Another track, The Airplane Song, explores a long-distance affair from the seat of an airplane heading away from the lover. The lyrics are somber against an upbeat and driving melody, a nice contrast that’s easy to melt into.

Probably my favorite track has got to be The Acid Test Song, and the lyrics “All the songs that I could sing for you/ Will never mean anything to you” hit me HARD. The separated lyrics and the driving guitar in the background are a top notch punk mix.

I’m generally not a listener of punk music, mostly because it’s a very vulnerable type of music that I’m scared of embracing. We’re made to think it’s cringy or hardcore, but for the past month, getting back into the punk swing is probably how I’ve been surviving senior year. We’re all allowed to feel emotions, and for me punk is something I can utilize for that.

Laura Jane Grace has the vibe for fall 2018 figured out. Be sure to check out Bought to Rot, available on Spotify.