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UPC: 644110048844
Format: TAPE
Release Date: February 16, 2024
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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 ; Toast
8. Mercenary
9. Keep Your Wheels Straight
10. Hard Feelings
11. Give Up the Ghost

In the Summer of 2022, a 10-year journey came to an end in Amsterdam. Its final score, as the curtain closed and the lights came up, was comprised of the orchestrations that preceded and followed the final act: the buzz of a barber's razor, the droning resonance of a tattoo machine, and the brush of electric sound from the surprise gift of a friend. 

For a decade, a leading figure and frontwoman of post-punk staple band Against Me!, Laura Jane Grace, had been slowly accruing black-laden bodywork by master Japanese tattoo artists Gakkin and Kenji Alucky. Beginning at her feet, Gakkin's freehanded, organic figures and Alucky's high-contrast geometric works had taken the three all over the world together just as it had taken inches all over Laura Jane's figure. Finally, though this artistic exercise in time and tattoo ink came to a head. Literally. The last place Laura Jane Grace needed tattooed, was her head. 

Whilst on tour in Europe that Summer, Laura Jane Grace, reached out to Gakkin. His shop had been relocated to Amsterdam and the two agreed to meet while they were both there. Pain of course was a consideration, but the most decisive action was that Laura Jane Grace needed to shave her head. As a prominent figure in the trans community, Grace’s hair is tied to their physical identity, and she understood that shaving it would come with questions. That didn’t stop her though, and soon enough her scalp was bare, and she was under the deft hand of her trusted tattoo artist. Two days later, Laura Jane Grace’s head was adorned with bold stroked roses crying around and the wings of a bird of prey, the story was at its close. Or so she thought.

Just before her departure, Gakkin presented with a token of their work together over the years; a black hollow-body Gretsch guitar, adorned with swirling white and silver cloud-like shapes hand-painted by Gakkin. And it was on this guitar, in the American Hotel in Amsterdam, that Laura Jane Grace commemorated this experience by writing the sixth track “Birds Talk Too” on her newest album Hole In My Head

A musical force since Against Me!'s debut in the late 90's, Laura Jane Grace has never shied away from themes of political commentary, environmentalism, social critique, and candid self-exploration. Following the 2012 public announcement of her gender transition in the pages of Rolling Stone, Laura Jane Grace racked up several accolades. Against Me! released its most acclaimed record to date, Transgender Dysphoria Blues in 2014, which was followed by an Emmy-nominated 10-episode companion documentary, True Trans with Laura Jane Grace. In 2016, Laura Jane Grace teamed up with journalist Dan Ozzi, to co-write her acclaimed memoir TRANNY: Confessions of Punk Rock’s Most Infamous Anarchist which went on to be featured on Late Night with Seth Meyers, Fresh Air with Terry Gross, and The Daily Show with Trevor Noah, and rightfully named one of Billboard’s “100 Greatest Music Books of All Time”. Hole In My Headis Grace’s twelfth album and an exciting hallmark in her colorful and extensive career. 

Recorded at Native Sound in St. Louis, Missouri with David Beeman and mixed & mastered by Matt Allison (engineer for acts such as Lawrence Arms and Rise Against), the album is a sonic curio cabinet containing multitudes. Hole In My Head features warm 50s-rock-influenced guitar riffs, saved-for-later lyrics, love letters to St. Louis, dysphoria apparel, and thoughtful reflections on a punk life lived. 

The record's title track "Hole In My Head" takes off with a driving guitar-heavy approach that will be welcome to long-time fans of Against Me! Electric machinations drive the song for about 10 seconds before launching into the first verse and punctuated by two lines that serve as the chorus as the song progresses, "I won’t learn to feel less/ I need a hole in my head". The lyrics are captured visually in the album's cover art done by the talented Australian artist and designer Annie Walters. Walters contrasts a black and white photograph of the crumpled, short-haired figure of Laura Jane Grace against a barrage of bright color and illustrative imagery that bursts upward from Grace's splitting head. Much like the song, the cover at first comes off as explosive, possibly violent but upon closer inspection, it becomes clear that the stream of color stems from a physical need for comfort and release. Grace's clutching hands (in image and in writing) are opening herself up.


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