Album Review: Grade 2 – Graveyard Island

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Grade 2

Graveyard Island - Hellcat Records

It’s been a swift and riotous ascent for Grade 2 since their formation on the Isle Of Wight six years ago, it’s one that has seen them tour the mainland of the UK, Europe and the US and has eventually taken them to LA to record their latest LP for Hellcat Records. After meeting and bonding with Rancid‘s Lars Frederiksen, they have by association ended up with Frederiksen’s bandmate and Hellcat Records impresario Tim Armstrong at the helm for their third full length “Graveyard Island” that follows in the wake of their previous releases, 2016’s “Mainstream View” and 2017’s “Break The Routine“.

From the opening blast of “Tired Of It” you can hear exactly why Grade 2 caught the ear of Lars Fredericksen and Tim Armstrong, this an album of twelve hard hitting street punk anthems that strike back against an establishment that speaks for no one but themselves. Every track on “Graveyard Island” follows the street punk path but Grade 2 are no one trick pony, “Look Up” has a distinct northern soul vibe whilst “Johnny Aggro” has a touch of rock ‘n roll, but these elements are incorporated into, rather than at the expense of, the hard hitting street punk soundtrack. Somewhat unsurprisingly there is a strong influence from their new label mates but Grade 2 have maintained a distinctly British feel to the album, especially lyrically, but this won’t impact on the universal appeal of the “Graveyard Island” as it’s themes are pretty much universal given the dire state of global politics right now.

Graveyard Island” is a contemporary street punk classic that expresses coherent rage at the current state of UK and world politics, it’s a statement of the obvious that this will appeal to fans of Rancid and it’s members assorted solo and band projects, but for fans of everyone and everything from street punk alumni such as Street Dogs, through to the DIY punk scene that spawned them, right back to the roots of the UK’s punk scene will find something to hook them into an almost faultless full length, one that I strongly suspect will be Grade 2‘s breakthrough album.

Graveyard Island” can be pre-ordered and pre-saved here

Grade 2‘s website can be found here