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LITERATURE

 » Full Dark, No Stars - Stephen King's new novella questions mankind's ability to trust others.
[02.21.2011 by Bridget Doyle]

MUSIC

 » The Top 30 Albums of 2010 - Fashionably, fabulously late, our favorite music (and believe me, there was a LOT) of 2010, the year that some have called the best year for music ever. And only some of those fools work here. Plenty of usual suspects, lots of ties and a few surprises that I won't spoil, including our unexpected #1.
[12.24.2010 by The LAS Staff]

MUSIC

 » Live: Surfer Blood/The Drums at Lincoln Hall, Chicago, IL - Remember when Weezer used to put together records that you could sing along to and rock out to? That's what Surfer Blood's show was like!
[11.04.2010 by Cory Tendering]

Music Reviews

Screaming Females - Castle Talk
»Screaming Females
Castle Talk
Don Giovanni
Trent Reznor & Atticus Ross - The Social Network [Original Soundtrack]
»Trent Reznor & Atticus Ross
The Social Network [Original Soundtrack]
The Null Corporation
Deerhunter - Halcyon Digest
»Deerhunter
Halcyon Digest
4AD
No Age - Everything in Between
»No Age
Everything in Between
Sub Pop
Robyn - Body Talk Pt. 1/ Body Talk Pt. 2
»Robyn
Body Talk Pt. 1/ Body Talk Pt. 2
Konichiwa
The Walkmen - Lisbon
»The Walkmen
Lisbon
Fat Possum
Grade
Headfirst Straight to Hell
Victory Records

Rating: NR/10 ?


October 1, 2004
"Every word she said lured me into surrounding my fingers around her throat. Now I roll along with her severed head. Her design is fit only for a creature as foul as every word she said, was like feeding paint chips to an infant. Her coil was comforting with black blood and a frozen touch. Hopefully the hordes of worms with take the rest of her away as I roll along with her severed head." After reading those dark and twisted words from the introduction song "Termites Hollow", you begin to wonder what's been going on in the members of Grade's lives, doing a complete 180 lyrically in comparison to there previous album "Under the Radar". Maybe these songs are still about love, but in a not-so upfront kind of way. Maybe the true meaning behind these songs are only obvious to the lyricist himself. The general nature of the songs are obvious but the true meanings can only be guessed. Is this progression? Or is the outcome of life's harsh ways? I would say its both, If music is an outlet, it will always show a mood, describe a feeling, or explain a situation. Kyle Bishop has never failed to paint a vivid picture in the heads of listeners and has never been lost for words to describe something or tell a story.

Musically, I would consider this a little more complex than the past efforts but not far off. Progression is what you come to expect of bands that have ever put out a decent CD. All around without noticing the difference in lyrics, most would say that this is definitely the same Grade that has existed for the past 2 albums. Along with the lyrics we've got some artwork that is also very, can I say "metal." Grade has been through a number of member changes within the past year which obviously contributes to the way a band sounds and writes songs. Guitars that mix riffs that you would hear from a melodic punk band and riffs from hardcore bands, not to mention the few "metal" parts thrown in here and there. If you are already a Grade fan you will love this CD. If you think you could be a Grade fan after reading this review, please do what's right and get in your car or on your bike or walk to the record store and but it. If you hate Grade then buy this anyways and listen to it enough to burn it into your brain until you learn to love it. If you haven't gotten my point so far than please read this again till you understand that you need this album. There are a lot of bands out that try to pull off this sound and fail. There is no way that anyone can deny Grade a trophy for being one of the best bands in the hardcore/punk scene.

Reviewed by Andy Vaughn
Andy Vaughn is a longtime friend of LAS magazine, where he has contributed occasionaly. He much prefers writing for The Toilet online, however that website seems to have died.

See other reviews by Andy Vaughn

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