Laura Jane Grace & The Devouring Mothers: Bought to Rot (Bloodshot) Review | Under the Radar - Music Magazine

Laura Jane Grace and The Devouring Mothers

Bought to Rot


Nov 27, 2018 Web Exclusive Bookmark and Share

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Setting aside the righteous anger over American society's consumerist and imperialist love affairs, Laura Jane Graceauthor, musician, and activistfinds herself dissecting the perfectly banal personal issues of motivation and anxiety. Though there are political undercurrents to the issues addressed in the album, the majority of it veers towards a documentation of her private life in a way that feels newly diaristic.

Musically, the album is a grab-bag of different varieties of guitar-centric pop sub-genres that finds its edge less in the exhortations to revolution than in its' acid-tongued self-assurances. Laura Jane Grace stated that she wanted the album to feel like a mix, and while there is some variation between the power-pop centric anthems and the more down-tempo emo-inflected tracks, more often than not it all sounds filtered through the same outlet mall speakers. On "Manic Depression," a song that finds Grace cataloguing her racing thoughts"I need something or someone to relieve the tension and the anxiety/Give me sex or drugs or destruction, some kind of excitement please"we get a glimpse of the ways the political can manifest in the personal, but it is all too frustratingly literal to really deliver any insight.

It seems as though the point of this album lies outside of that basic trajectory in the first place, though. It is for those who look to music not as a way to diversify their cultural conquests, but rather those who need to hear the validation of their basic humanity from a voice who understands their pains. For those individuals, this album might just be the refreshing break from the privileging of the aesthetic over the material that is desperately needed today. Otherwise, the album traffics too heavily in platitudes and generic alt-rock formulas. (

Author rating: 5/10

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Average reader rating: 8/10


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