Band: GRADEGenres: Punk / Rock / Emo / Hardcore / Post-Hardcore / Metalcore / Screamo
Related artists: To The Lions, Trunk, Jersey, The Swarm, Acrid, The Black Maria and SeventyEightDays.
Country: Burlington, Ontario CANADA
Years Active: 1993-2002
Song: "Termites Hollow"
Album: "Headfirst Straight to Hell"
Label(s): Workshop Records / Capsule Records / Wheatfield Press / Second Nature Recordings / Victory Records / At Both Ends Magazine
This post's artist is from the August 2014 Mix. This is track #10.
You can download the August Mix#8 right here or get the new August Mix#9 here.
For fans of: Hopesfall, Alexisonfire, Thrice, Glassjaw, Thursday, This Day Forward, Downway, Christiansen, Bigwig, Boy Sets Fire, Folly, Cave In, Fordirelifesake, Poison The Well and The Swarm.
This band is kind of heralded as kings of punk, hardcore and even a bit of screamo in my area. The band existed quite some time ago but I remember being in university saying, "I've seen GRADE live more than any other band". Granted, they usually played with other bands that I liked but I certainly came to appreciate them in my own way. In certain light they were very progressive and other times bordered on a bit of cheese, but there is no doubt that what you are listening to is definitely GRADE.
First off, GRADE always killed it live. Vocalist Kyle Bishop moved around on stage constantly, stretching, leaping and using his hands, which showed how into it he really was, and his stage presence reminded me of Daryl Palumbo of Glassjaw. I think I ended up seeing them 5 times and then once in 2013 when they got back together along with Choke to play some shows.
'Under the Radar' was a very poppy effort when compared to their other records and is heralded (generally) as the band's best output, although I'd say 'Headfirst Straight to Hell' is their masterpiece. "Stolen Bikes Ride Faster" has my favourite GRADE part at 2:56-onwards. It was the video for "A Year in the Past Forever in the Future" on The Wedge (a fantastic MuchMusic show that shows indie stuff) which was perfectly wedged between my skate-punk and melodic hardcore phase that stemmed from my love of Death By Stereo that introduced me to the band. The band also has 2 other really good songs on the record, "The Inefficiency of Emotion" is a great opener and "Triumph and Tragedy" has a video which is linked below.
The band's final album is without a doubt my favourite, as the inclusion of a more "metal" guitarist took root almost immediately and the record dances between a few genres, but metallic skate-punk screamo wouldn't be too far off. 'Headfirst Straight to Hell' contains some of my favourite songs, namely "Termites Hollow" (with a great video that reminds me of The Cell, which had some pretty awesome cinematography), "Becoming Not Being" (boasts some sweet licks), "In the Wake of Poseidon" (probably the closest song I dig that borders of skate/pop-punk but also includes a killer ending) and "Bleeding Warm and Newly Dead" (isn't too far off from 'The Satellite Years'-era Hopesfall). I also watched an interview with Kyle where he said that about a year before they wrote/recorded the material for this LP he would have extremely intense dreams/nightmares that would lead to him waking up screaming. The cover art is crazy/cool and was an interpretation of the lyrics Kyle wrote.
In the end, a band I dig but generally not in the same way as most fans of the band, who probably started a lot earlier than I did. At this moment I have yet to procure the band's earlier work (basically everything I didn't buy at the band's concerts) so if you have them and wouldn't mind sharing please post a zip link. Thanks!
1994 - Believe split cdLP
1995 - ...And Such is Progress cd/12"LP
1997 - Separate the Magnets cd/10"EP
1999 - Under the Radar cd/12"LP (download here)
1999 - Incision split cdLP (same songs as Believe split)
1999 - Triumph and Tragedy cd/7"EP
2000 - The Embarrassing Beginning cdLP (out of print album)
2001 - Headfirst Straight to Hell cd/12"LP (download here)
(2001) GRADE - "Termites Hollow" (from 'Headfirst Straight to Hell') official music video
(1999) GRADE - "Stolen Bikes Ride Faster" (from 'Under the Radar')
(2001) GRADE - "In the Wake of Poseidon" (from 'Headfirst Straight to Hell')
(2001) GRADE - "Bleeding Warm and Newly Dead" (from 'Headfirst Straight to Hell')
(1999) GRADE - "A Year in the Past Forever in the Future" (from 'Under the Radar') official music video
(1999) GRADE - "Triumph and Tragedy" (from 'Under the Radar') official music video
GRADE 2 newest LPs mp3 download