Grade 2 – Graveyard Island: Acoustic Sessions
Pirates Press Records
Going at it for nearly a decade already, Grade 2 is definitely not that ‘young, new Oi!’ band anymore that it used to be. As a matter of fact, these young guns grew up so fast that it’s already time for their very first acoustic record and you know what? It sounds pretty damn good!
Usually I am not a huge fan of these re-recorded releases and surprise – Pirates Press Records almost simultaneously released three of them! Because aside this Grade 2 record, your favorite pirates also released similar releases by Lars Frederiksen (also acoustic re-recordings) and Booze & Glory (another reggae session) – each released on 12” vinyl and each containing six previously released tracks (or covers) in a new jacket. And although I enjoyed the latter two to some degree, Grade 2’s definitely stuck the most to me!
So as the title of this record suggests, this slab of wax contains acoustic versions of tracks previously released in all its glory on 2019’s “Graveyard Island” for Hellcat Records. Well, most of the songs anyway, only opener “Only Ones I Trust” was released a digital single in 2020, but the other five – namely “Tired Of It”, “Don’t Look Back”, “Bowling Green Lane”, “Murder Town” and “Look Up” - are definitely from the band’s last full-length. A full-length I – ironically – never listened to.
Now I don’t know if “Graveyard Island” was that good, but all of the songs recorded during these acoustic sessions perfectly lend themselves to an acoustic version, making it a highly enjoyable listen from start to finish! Of course half of these songs were originally written along with Tim Armstrong and Jesse Michaels – something you can definitely hear back – but the Grade 2 lads made these acoustic versions their own and in all fairness, they sound fairly brilliant altogether!
“Graveyard Island: Acoustic Sessions” is out now on Pirates Press Records and comes on either blood red vinyl (500 copies) or red in yellow vinyl with black and cyan splatter (500 copies).