Grade 2 - Graveyard Island: Acoustic Sessions
Melding the near-mythical musical heritage of their native Isle of Wight with the humdrum reality of growing up in a tired seaside town, Grade 2 spit out blistering punk music laced with passion, angst, humor and despair. Fueled by a desire to be heard yet constrained by an ethos unsuited to daytime radio, Grade 2 ply their craft on the road, joining the likes of Dropkick Murphy’s, The Interrupters and Social Distortion to play their songs to fervent audiences around the world. Their stark authenticity, thunderous live performances and exceptional musicianship have garnered praise across the hardcore punk fanbase. Grade 2 are a band to be seen.
United by a love of old-school punk, ska and oi, childhood friends Sid Ryan (vocals, bass), Jacob Hull (drums) and Jack Chatfield (guitar, vocals) formed the band in their early teens, honing their craft playing Clash and Jam covers before refining their own sound and songs. A European tour supporting Stomper 98 brought admiration and friendship from Rancid’s Lars Frederiksen, leading to introductions and signing to Rancid cohort Tim Armstrong’s legendary Hellcat Records in 2018.
Following two accomplished albums on subculture label Contra Records — 2016’s Mainstream View and 2017’s Break the Routine — the trio decamped to Armstrong’s Shipwreck Studios in Los Angeles to record their first album for Hellcat, under the Rancid frontman’s production tutelage. Bristling with confidence, the resultant Graveyard Island seamlessly flits between three-chord punk-pop (“Tired of it”, “Murder Town”) and visceral, multi-layered anthems (“Monsters”, “Reality is Calling”), all tightly mixed by The Interrupters’ Kevin Bivona.
Grade 2 have something to say and a ferocious, scintillating way to say it. Turn up and listen. Here’s a band to rattle your bones, stir your heart and have you singing till you’re hoarse like it’s the first day of punk.