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Laura Jane Grace - Hole In My Head (Album Review)

Friday, 23 February 2024 Written by Emma Wilkes

Photo: Bella Peterson

Since the pandemic, Laura Jane Grace’s solo career has become less of a side quest than a main adventure. In the first two years of this decade, the Against Me! frontwoman pulled two stellar releases from her sleeve — 2020’s ‘Stay Alive’ and 2021’s ‘At War With The Silverfish’ EP — with no prior warning. 

Listening to the next record in that sequence, it hardly feels like an accident that Grace has moved from a body of work with black-and-white sleeve to one where colour explodes against greyscale. Though it was also conceived in the pandemic, ‘Hole In My Head’ is brighter, more immediate and richer in variety than what has come before it. 

Its earliest songs take on multiple identities at once — the choppy title track dances happily on the line between punk mayhem and film soundtrack cool, while the gloriously retro blues-rock number I’m Not A Cop is both vicious and fun. 

The campfire punk-rock of Dysphoria Hoodie, meanwhile, returns to the acoustic palette that Grace has become more comfortable in, and the faintly country Cuffing Season shares a similar warmth as she dismantles the walls around her heart brick by brick. “I wanna let myself feel the whole of you / And maybe you’ll let yourself feel it too,” she sings.

While its back third is slightly less arresting than the rest of the album, Grace frequently finds a way to quickly tug the listener back in with a witty turn of phrase — special mention goes to Hard Feelings’ “Oh mother mother mother I’ve ruined my brain / With alcohol, weed, porn and cocaine.”. Brimming, as ever, with ideas and charisma, ‘Hole In My Head’ makes Grace’s run of solo records a hat-trick of successes. 

Laura Jane Grace Upcoming Tour Dates are as follows:

Sat March 02 2024 - INDIANAPOLIS Indiana - Vogue Theatre Indianapolis (USA)
Sun March 03 2024 - COLUMBUS Ohio - A and R Music Bar (USA)
Tue March 05 2024 - PITTSBURGH Pennsylvania - Spirit Hall (USA)
Wed March 06 2024 - PHILADELPHIA Pennsylvania - Underground Arts (USA)
Fri March 08 2024 - HAMDEN Connecticut - Space Ballroom Hamden (USA)
Sat March 09 2024 - NEW YORK New York - Racket NYC (USA)
Sun March 10 2024 - SOMERVILLE Massachusetts - Crystal Ballroom at Somerville Theatre (USA)
Tue March 12 2024 - WASHINGTON District Of Columbia - Howard Theatre - DC (USA)
Wed March 13 2024 - VIRGINIA BEACH Virginia - Elevation 27 (USA)
Fri March 15 2024 - DURHAM North Carolina - Motorco Music Hall (USA)
Sat March 16 2024 - KNOXVILLE Tennessee - Bijou Theatre (USA)
Sun March 17 2024 - NASHVILLE Tennessee - City Winery Nashville (USA)
Tue March 19 2024 - NEW ORLEANS Louisiana - Tipitina's (USA)
Wed March 20 2024 - BIRMINGHAM AL Alabama - Saturn - Birmingham (USA)
Fri March 22 2024 - SAN ANTONIO Texas - Paper Tiger (USA)
Sat March 23 2024 - HOUSTON Texas - RISE ROOFTOP (USA)
Sun March 24 2024 - FORT WORTH Texas - Tulips FTW (USA)
Fri May 10 2024 - MILWAUKEE Wisconsin - Vivarium (USA)
Sun May 12 2024 - KITCHENER Ontario - Hub (Canada)
Tue May 14 2024 - KINGSTON Ontario - Broom Factory (Canada)
Wed May 15 2024 - TORONTO Ontario - Axis Club (Canada)
Fri May 17 2024 - HAMILTON Ontario - Bridgeworks (Canada)
Sat May 18 2024 - OTTAWA Ontario - Brass Monkey (Canada)
Tue May 21 2024 - SUDBURY Ontario - Grand (Canada)
Wed May 22 2024 - OSHAWA Ontario - Biltmore Theatre (Canada)
Sat May 25 2024 - CLEVELAND Ohio - Grog Shop (USA)
Sun May 26 2024 - COVINGTON Kentucky - Madison Theater (USA)

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