Graveyard Island: Acoustic Sessions

Grade 2

Pirates Press Records, 2021

REVIEW BY: Tom Haugen


The UK youngsters Grade 2 released their Epitaph/Hellcat debut Graveyard Island back in 2019, and they sure did impress me with their hard hitting and melodic punk rock that doesn't shy away from sing-alongs or traces of old school flavor.my_heart_sings_the_harmony_web_ad_alt_250

Here, they bring us several selections from that first album done acoustic style, which, if you've paid any close attention so far, isn't always an easy transition for the fist-pumping, pit-friendly sort of circles that Grade 2 travel in.

“Only Ones I Trust” starts the listen with swift, tuneful acoustic guitars alongside gritty but smooth singing as the band don't hide their punk rock roots amid the soulful backing vocals. “Tired Of It” then follows with an energy that you could and should dance to, and “Don't Look Back” continues with a rockabilly spirit that's quite infectious in an almost country-western sort of way.

The back half of the listen offers the strong harmonies of the playful “Bowling Green Lane,” while “Murder Town,” the album's best, is a bit rugged in a folk-punk fashion. “Look Up” finishes the listen, and benefits from firm piano in a tune that wouldn't be out of place on a Frank Turner record from about 15 years ago.

A record that came to life when band's touring schedule came to an abrupt halt with the onset of the pandemic, Sid, Jack and Jacob, i.e. Grade 2, actually recorded these tracks in a bedroom with just one microphone. A strong testament to their skill and creativity, these six songs further solidify Grade 2 as perhaps the most exciting trio in the punk rock spectrum today, and deserve to be played alongside their best.

Rating: A

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