The blue light specials may have dimmed at the Fenton, Mich., Kmart, but it will be forever etched into Midwest cover art folklore thanks to a 2018 album.
Laura Jane Grace and the Devouring Mothers released their debut album, “Bought To Rot,” in early November 2018. The Bloodshot Records release was a bit of a side project from Against Me! leader Laura Jane Grace and drummer Atom Willard along with bassist Marc Jacob Hudson.
The cover art for the album was rather fitting for its title. The main image on the cover of “Bought To Rot” was an exterior shot of a permanently closed Kmart formerly located at 18065 Silver Parkway in Fenton, Mich.
The cover was designed by longtime Against Me! collaborator and artist, Steak Mtn. (aka Christopher Norris). A screenshot of a text conversation between Grace and Norris sits atop the photo.
Photographer Bryce Mata of Flint, Mich., captured the image of the closed Kmart. Mata was album to get a photo of himself holding the album in front of the building.
The above photo shows Mata standing outside the former Kmart, which is surrounded by a construction fence. The site saw extensive remodeling and demolition in the past year as it is now home to TJ Max and several other stores.
Grace encouraged fans to check out the site before it was demolished last year.
While it may be too late to experience this album cover in real life, you can still check out pre-demolition images of the location thanks to Google Maps. Zoom in far enough on the address and you can even see some shots of the Kmart when it was thriving.
This is part of an occasional series highlighting album covers inspired by and featuring locations throughout the Midwest.