Being a somewhat bitter, seen better days punk rocker, I used to readily subscribe to the philosophy that youth was wasted on the young. I did so willingly and without hesiation, mainly because I refused to believe that mine had disappeared somewhere in a fog of shows, travel and music and a blur of dubious, and often slightly less than legal, shenanigans. These days though, I’ve see the light, I’m a little more complacent and I’ve learned, less than willingly, that everything has it’s time.
One of the many things that dragged me kicking and screaming through the door of that school of thought was Grade 2. A trio of malcontents from the Isle of Wight who are filled with all of the aggro, energy, vigour and righteous fury that walk hand in hand with being young, Grade 2 play the sort of blistering, brain melting and horrendously catchy, sing-a-long punk rock that caught the imagination of an entire generation during the second half of the nineteen nineties.
Walking a fine punk rock line between Rancid and the Business, on Graveyard Island Grade 2 charge straight out of the gates with Tired of It and keep the pedal pressed firmly to the floor as they plough through twelve of the most monstrously immediate and infectious tunes I’ve had the pleasure of hearing this year. Graveyard Island is the bands most accomplished release to date and even though there isn’t a single wasted moment on this record, with each and every second being devoted to hammering home the sort of tunes that worm their way into your imagination and refuse to leave, I can’t help feeling a little animosity toward these whippersnappers.
My misplaced malevolence is, admittedly, born entirely from jealousy, but in my defence you can’t help but be envious of the kind of sheer, unadulterated talent that can write an album that’s bursting with punk rock anthems that kids will be chanting along too at shows for years to come. Damn Grade 2. Damn them to punk rock infamy, riches, success and, eventually, hell. Bloody kids… Tim Cundle