Live review: Laura Jane Grace & The Devouring Mothers and Frank Iero & the Future Violents, Liquid Room, Edinburgh, Tue 27 Aug
- Henry Northmore
- 28 August 2019
New projects from Against Me! vocalist Laura Jane Grace and My Chemical Romance guitarist Frank Iero
Former punk rock and emo superstars Laura Jane Grace and Frank Iero present an intriguing double bill of new solo projects. First up is guitarist Frank Iero who absolutely tears into his set. 'Veins! Veins!! Veins!!!' is a fuzzy percussive hand grenade with stabbing strings from Kayleigh Goldsworthy (switching from keys to violin), 'I'm A Mess' is bubbly punk thrash, while Green Day or Blink-182 would be proud of the call and response power pop of 'Joyriding.'
Iero suits the spotlight channelling Jack White, Billie Joe Armstrong and even a dash of Anthrax, embracing the urgency of hardcore but retaining the melody of My Chemical Romance. Dressed in regulation black boiler suits emblazoned with a ragged barbwire heart the Future Violents hit hard and fast in their tight 45 minute set.
The crowd thins before Laura Jane Grace (Against Me! didn't break as big as MCR in the UK). However the people that stay obviously connect with her story and music on a deeper level. The Devouring Mothers continue the personal journey Grace embarked on with the last two Against Me! albums (Transgender Dysphoria Blues and Shape Shift with Me) and with such a new project, Grace admits midway that as they only have a limited number of songs we'll be hearing last year's Bought to Rot in its entirety.
It's pleasingly varied: there's an old school rock'n'roll beat to 'The Friendship Song', 'The Hotel Song' starts with a Caribbean lilt before hitting a heavy groove, while 'Born in Black' ends with a beautifully discordant solo and 'scream therapy'. An acoustic 'The Apology Song' is a candid portrayal of parenthood and fucking up but there's also a sense of humour as typified by the angry country of 'I Hate Chicago'.
Iero and Grace nicely complement one another in this big one-two punch of raw energy followed by an impassioned performance packed with emotion and honesty.