Album Reviews

Hole In My Head
Laura Jane Grace Hole In My Head Punk Rock Theory
Friday, February 16, 2024 - 13:35
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Laura Jane Grace’s new album, ‘Hole In My Head,’ kicks off in the best of ways with the fuzzed out garage-meets-power-pop of the title track. Recorded at Native Sound in St. Louis, MO with David Beeman and mixed by Matt Allison (The Lawrence Arms, Rise Against), ‘Hole In My Head’is built almost entirely around Grace’s commanding vocals, backed by little more than her performances on guitar and drums and the presence of Drive-By Truckers bassist Matt Patton, whose basslines round out a full-band sound on over half the album.‘I’m Not A Cop’ and single ‘Dysphoria Hoodie’ are up next, the former built around a 50’s rock ‘n roll riff, the latter taking a bare-bones approach featuring nothing but Grace’s vocals and an acoustic guitar. Three songs, three different sounds.

Sounding yet again differently and borrowing a line from the 60’s song ‘Got My Mind Set On You,’ Grace celebrates the city of Amsterdam in the upbeat yet too lightweight‘Birds Talk Too’with lyrics referencing Schiphol (the airport), Rookies (her favourite cannabis cafe) and Champagne Haze (her favourite strain), which apparently sum up everything Holland’s capital has to offer. From there on, Grace keeps changing things up right down to the last track. Sometimes that leads to entirely satisfying results (the disarming ‘Mercenary’and the downright beautiful ‘Keeping The Faith’), at other times songs pass by without causing so much as a ripple (‘Tacos & Toast’, ‘Hard Feelings’).

I’ve seen the album being described as a ‘sonic curio cabinet,’ which honestly is just a nice way of saying that this album is all over the place. While ‘Hole In My Head’ features some of Grace’s best songs to date as a solo artist, the album also comes off as a compilation of previously unreleased odds and ends rather than a cohesive studio album, making it a bit of a mixed bag.


Hole In My Head track list:

  1. Hole In My Head
  2. I'm Not A Cop
  3. Dysphoria Hoodie
  4. Birds Talk Too
  5. Punk Rock In Basements
  6. Cuffing Season
  7. Tacos and Toast
  8. Mercenary
  9. Keeping Your Wheels Straight
  10. Hard Feelings
  11. Give Up The Ghost
Tom Dumarey
Tom Dumarey

Lacking the talent to actually play in a band, Tom decided he would write about bands instead. Turns out his writing skills are mediocre at best as well.