Isle of Wight punk trio Grade 2 isn’t a household name yet. The band has been hitting it hard since they began, and it seems that will change soon when people check out their latest album Graveyard Island. Produced by Rancid’s Tim Armstrong, it brings the band’s rough British punk sound up and makes it a bit more polished. Without losing any of its core energy, Graveyard Island is definitely an album that will remind you of early British punk.
That British sneer and energetic pace is set on opener “Tired Of It.” Reminding you of that punk sound that ruled the seventies, the youthful trio brings it and sets the stage. Plenty of backing vocals and three chord angst drive the record. Whether it be the drum lead tones of “Reality Is Calling” or the fevered stride of “Murder Town,” the album is full of old school punk.
In many ways the way the guys utilize backing vocals as a dual vocal, it’s reminiscent of earlier works by Rancid. It’s not a lift, but the style is similar to that of what the So Cal group did on their first two releases. It never really lets up either. “Don’t Look Back” has the pace of a pub drawn drinking song. “Dover Street” sounds like it could be chanted from the alleys of London. The whole record is full of gems. But the biggest standout comes on “Monsters” where it feels like the band breaks away from the mold. More guitar work, a different structure and even the backing vocals are different. The whole release is more of a throwback than anything else, but it works from open to close.
Graveyard Island is available for physical purchase directly from Hellcat Records. It can be purchased in all digital music stores or streamed on all streaming platforms. Grade 2 is on tour starting tonight in Pittsburgh, PA at Rock Room until December 21 in London, UK at 100 Club. The band’s tour schedule is available for access here.
Image Credits: Photo by Bill Chatfield.