Laura Jane Grace is back with her fourth solo album ‘Hole In My Head’, which has taken a while to land at RPM HQ even if it has been out in the wild for a few weeks. After absorbing the content it’s fair to say its top notch Grace with all the vim and vigour of previous outings and fury of Against Me rolled into one but with a softer sound, it reminds me more of the acoustic ‘White crosses’ release.

‘Hole In My Head’ has all the expected ingredients and some of it is pent-up anger mixed with equal amounts of anxiety and a fair sprinkling of fear to keep the listener on their toes. Having long been outspoken and confrontational Laura Jane Grace is a major player on the alt-rock scene and rightly so.

It was way back in 2012 when LJG went public with her gender transition in the pages of Rolling Stone. The journey has stayed true to the angst and political outspokeness continues alongside the gender journey and all that goes on with it politics and the in your face lyrics rightly continuing.

Less Rock and more Americana acoustic guitar driven with Folk and poetry pushing more to the fore on this outing makes for a really epic and highly enjoyable record. but worry not because the more easy and gentler sound dovetails well with the more anarchic and roudy attack takes the songs in a different direction by using a different approach but it all makes for a thoroughly enjoyable journey for the listener.

As far as alt rock goes this is pretty much as good as it gets and all the solo work has enabled Grace to reach this point. the title track is a roudy affair with muted distortion overdriven guitars thrashing away for the vibrant and attention grabbing opener. ‘I’m Not A Cop’ is a little T-rexified but the Dylanesque ‘Dysphoria Hoodie’ is simple and powerful.

The stripped back nature of ‘Birds Talk Too’ really works well and whilst it sounds so simple that’s because Laura makes it sound that way. ‘Punk Rock In /basements’ is like an American punk rock ‘brim full of asha’. This is where the album veers off into a more laid back stripped bare acoustic offering which really works culminating in the final cut of ‘Give Up The Ghost’ where a thoughtful Grace delivers a moving and through provoking final swansong on what is a sparkling album that has the lot. Rebel songs for people who want some weight in their music and for it to mean something whilst entertaining them from start to finish with variety and plenty of charm. Buy It!

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Author: Dom Daley